If You Wish to Make A Pie from Scratch

I’m making blackberry pies this morning and reminded of a poem I wrote last summer.

If You Wish To Make a Pie from Scratch,
You Must First Invent the Universe

Sunday morning, and I’m picking
wild blackberries for a pie
with my son. He’s seventeen
now, big hands thick
and rough as paws, yet gentle,
deft around the thorns.

We glean fruit along the path and
because he pours his berries
into mine, his bucket never fills.

The talk between us is easy,
soft summer air just right,
dark juice staining our fingers.
A lone wasp lingers
on a leaf, and our conversation
turns to the state of things here
on earth.

My son admits—or maybe
reveals/screams/shouts—that he has lost hope
for the world. The planet could do
with about six billion people less
than the seven billion crowding it now—
“At least you had the chance to see it
before it was hopeless”, he says.

“Did I?” I ask out loud, guilty.
“Maybe it was hopeless then too,
and I just didn’t know it yet.”

Carl Sagan said, “If you wish to make a pie from scratch,
you must first invent the universe.”
Must we destroy it first, too?

After supper we’ll eat warm pie
on the porch,
watch the horizon glow red,
laugh about nothing,
laugh and laugh.


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