With the sigh of a man who has seen all and been redeemed

I eat these
wild red raspberries
still warm from the sun
and smelling faintly of jewelweed
in memory of my father

tucking the napkin
under his chin and bending
over an ironstone bowl
of the bright drupelets
awash in cream

my father
with the sigh of a man
who has seen all and been redeemed
said time after time
as he lifted his spoon

men kill for this.

~ Maxine Kumin, Appetite

Maxine Kumin (June 6, 1925 – February 6, 2014) was an American poet and author. Born Maxine Winokur in Philadelphia, the daughter of Jewish parents, she attended a Catholic kindergarten and primary school. She received her B.A. in 1946 and her M.A. in 1948 from Radcliffe College. From 1976 until her death in February 2014, she and her husband lived on a farm in Warner, New Hampshire, where they bred Arabian and quarter horses. Kumin’s many awards include the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1973) for Up Country: Poems of New England.

Credits: Watercolor painting by Peter Krobath (“Awe Raspberries II”, watercolor, 8″x7″) via The Sensual Starfish. Poem: Poem-Locker. Bio: Wiki.


  1. So evocative. I’ve never heard of this poet, but I will look for her in the future. And the raspberries?? A gorgeous summer tease.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WMS–evocative is exactly the word that sprang to my mind as well. And I had no idea that Kumin lived just “up the road” from me here in the Granite State!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. and men have.

    lovely words show a full understanding of the world.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. ibid Mimi

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh YES! When I was a kid we had fresh raspberries with fresh cream. Nothing was better. My parents kept the cream cold by lowering jars in a pail down the well to just above water height.

    Liked by 1 person

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