And now, the sky is clearest blue,
gone summer’s haze, the color true
where eagles, herons, geese fly through
into tomorrow. Now the air
is crisp—soon crisper—and see there
the leaves are turning gold? Prepare
as now’s the time for harvests, too.
Grapes for wine, apples for the pies
and sauce, tossed in a pot—time flies—
between sun and moon, lows and highs.
Taste the tart and bittersweet, chew,
swallow, wallowed grief–holidays
she’ll never see. Cranberries stay
on my mind, and Thanksgiving Day
with the blue-squirrel mold—it’s hard to
say, the family tradition—
how she held it, the condition
of it unsure—no prediction
what cranberries will do. And you
cry, but it’s not the fruit. Life goes
on. Leaves turn, and the river flows
with secrets and ghosts undisclosed—
cranberries sauced, but you are blue.
This is Zéjel for Grace’s Meet the Bar prompt on dVerse, and also for Mish’s fruit prompt on Tuesday. I was thinking about Thanksgiving and our family’s cranberry squirrel the other day. We haven’t all been together since before my mom died.
I love the imagery of the cranberries in the squirrel bowl, representing the bittersweet memories and the sadness of loss. A beautiful poem of changes in life’s seasons!
Thank you so much, Ingrid. I’m pleased that came through!
I love the turn of the season and the poignant memories of those cranberries. Of course, there are memories we do treasures and we hold it close, like family traditions. I am feeling blue indeed.
Thank you so much, Grace.
Sorry for making you feel blue!
I love this… and how much a mould like that can mean. I hope you get the possibility to gather again and make that cranberry sauce.
Thank you so much. I hope we do, too. My niece and I were talking about it the other day. She’s the designated cranberry sauce in the mold maker.
I love the transition from the first to the second stanza — as if the line is, like the geese “fly[ing] through into tomorrow.”
Thank you–yes, that’s it exactly. 😀
This is just so wonderful. I know how much this squirrel mold means to you and your family and it shines through on this beautifully done Zéjel!
Aww–thank you so much, Dale!
Yes, I know you know. 💙
Truly lovely. 🧡
what a beutiful poem. makes me think of the things my family do when we get achance to celebrate specil times togther
Thank you so much.
Last year was the first year since I can remember that we didn’t have that cranberry squirrel.
Stuff like that Is missed
BLUE SQUIRREL could be another title, although it veers toward existential and possibly topical, which is my bailiwick and landscape. Your piece was tinged with just the right amount of sadness.
Thank you very much, Glenn.
I had more topical COVID stuff in the first draft, but it didn’t work. 😀
Entrancingly lovely, with all the imagery swimming up through your words painting so much more than an artist on canvas. Loved it.
What a lovely comment, Dora! Thank you so much!
You’re so welcome. I really enjoyed it.
Luv of flavour in this one. Nice
Luv the squirrel sauce bowl
Thank you very much, Gillena! 💙
Delicious, Merril. I love it all but I esp love the sum-up closing quat. My hat is off.
Thanks so much, Ron.! I appreciate that.
That was wonderful Merril. I love this time of year. I have a mixed feeling about cranberry sauce. If it’s a solid jell, no way — but if it’s natural chunky and tart, I’ll eat it all day… well, just for the dinner.
Thank you, Rob. The squirrel mold is such a part of our family tradition, that even people who don’t like cranberry sauce look forward to it. There’s a whole thing about un-molding it, and did it work this time. I like cranberry sauce, but homemade is a million times better than the canned stuff.
I love cranberries, but I only ever (and always) make them for Thanksgiving. What a roller coaster of images and emotions–like this changing season and the memories it brings of times with family.. Food is so evocative. (K)
Thank you so much. I will sometimes make cranberry sauce (but not in the squirrel mold) at other times–or make a cranberry crisp.
A cranberry crisp sounds delicious. My daughters are the bakers in the family…but they are not that fond of cranberries, unfortunately.
I had a hard time scrolling beyond the opening photo, but I’m glad I did. Beautiful, Merril! It’s been a crazy day, so I haven’t seen your shots on IG yet.
Thank you very much, Jill! I’m pleased you liked the top photo, but went on to read the poem, too. I hope today is better. 😀
A poem full of wondrous imagery witha stunning finale Merril..
Ivor–thank you so much!
My pleasure Merril
Your words are perfect for the season and the days ahead. Hi Merril … Hope all is well
A lovely tribute to the span of a life which brought together all those she had given life. Such appropriate rhyme pattern, too
Thank you so much, Derrick. I knew you’d get it. 💙
Did you inherit the mold, Merril?
The mold has lived at my house for a long time because we’ve hosted Thanksgiving. My niece used to make the cranberry sauce with my mom, but then she took it over. Usually I give her the mold sometime earlier in the Fall. Last year, we met outside, and I gave her the mold to make cranberry sauce for her family, since she has children at home. She still has it. I made some cranberry sauce for just me and my husband without the mold. 😔
All the changes we have made because of covid! Heartfelt and poignant. Love how the stanzas segue into each other. 💙
Thank you so very much! 💙
You are welcome. 😊
What an open, seasoned holiday poem, Merril. The squirrel dish is precious. Imagining your mom holding it as she prepared the food is a wonderful detail to share.
Thank you very much, Lisa. I’m happy all that came through to you.
We always make a big production with un-molding the sauce onto a platter. My mom used to take the mold and raise it up and rest it on her head. We never knew why, but siblings and I have the memories. 🤣
You’re welcome. My guess is mom knew one day you all would remember it and smile. Your mom sounds like she was a fun-loving lady.
Beautiful poem…seasoned with so much love! Loving people can make us blue because we miss them so, but, just as the geese fly into tomorrow, so must we. That is what our beloveds would want for us. Cherishing their memories, using their lovely things to create the same wonderful foods that they did…this is a beautiful tribute. We honor their lives with our love; we celebrate the holidays with them in our hearts.
Thank you for your kind thoughts and words, Linda. You are so right. 💙
Merril, this is so tender and sweet.
Thank you ver much, Linda!
As soon as I saw the title of your post come across my email I thought of your mother. Your poem so effectively captures that push/pull between grief and life as we mourn the passing of a loved one.
Aww–thank you so much, Liz. I’m so pleased you thought of my mother instantly with the title, and I appreciate your kind words.
You’re most welcome, Merril.
SIGH!!! This write is sweeter than cranberry sauce.
Thank you, Merril!
Aww–thank you so much, Resa!
I was thinking about Thanksgiving
and our family’s cranberry squirrel the other day.
We haven’t all been together
How nice to revive and retain the family tradition. It is a form of reminder to the next generation! Best wishes Merril, Ma’am!
Hi Hank, Thank you.
The tradition was never lost, we just couldn’t all be together because of the pandemic. Hopefully, this year.
Traditions are wonderful to carry on. That mold is calling out!
Thank you! I love our family traditions. It got used last year–but only with my niece’s family because of the pandemic. 🥲
Love to know about your family tradition. Its beautiful. ❣
Thank you very much!
So beautiful, Merril. I know you mom is smiling and remembering all the wonderful time together. ❤️
Thank you so much, Colleen! ❤️ I’m hoping we’ll see family and squirrel this Thanksgiving.
That so lovely, Merril. I hope you have a wonderful celebration. 🥰❤️
Thank you very much, Colleen! You, as well! ❤️
Thanks, Merril. ❤