My Strawberry

Kerry Trautman

I pinch
its leaftop like a cinched
umbrella, twist,
it knows just where to give
way. Boiling freezer jam
roiling red on my father’s
stovetop, pink foam floating,
“Don’t touch.”
The berry tastes of
new-mown grass—
clippings cupped
to confetti above my head.
I remember berries
tried to hide beneath
the leaves, taut skin near
rupture, and hearing stormwater
river through pipes
buried below the beds.
I won’t allow the juice
to stain my fingertips. My
berry’s one small bruise creates
the perfect breath of wine.