Raspberry Jam

Raspberry Jam 

It’s bright red, maraschino cherry red, uncannily red
so that you can’t help but think it’s insincere.
Reminds me of the red-red ketchup in Copenhagen
startlingly red, though now that I think about it,
it may have been the Danish sausages that astonished
me with that disgraceful color yet perfect flavor, but not more so
than the milk that was delivered each morning to my door
in a liter glass bottle throughout July 1969, a student’s dorm
3 of us sublet and crowded into for the summer, the milk
because I was pregnant and had registered with the health service
where a kindly doctor (so unlike the one I saw at the Dade
County Health Department in Miami who so clearly disapproved)
and I discussed the safety of immunizations during pregnancy.
I declined, as we departed overland for Nepal.

My son was born on November 12, 1969, on the floor
of the Noor Hotel in Kabul. The jam, in its tiny rectangle,
reminds me of the Sunflour Cafe—a restaurant on NE 65th Street
in Seattle, and the enormous affection I reserve for breakfast,
among meals.  As I spread on toast and savor,
other memories bump into the dish.

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