Thunder rumbled off to the west of me as I crouched in the gooseberry bush.
The heatwave left all the green leaves yellow,
And all the juicy berries just berries.
I plucked red and green gooseberries as the air smelt of forgotten rain.
The bush occasionally stabbed me; the stealer.
My arms and legs brushed nettles; spectators crying thief.

Surrounded by family I sat with bowls and scissors.
I topped and tailed millions of berries as life unfolded.
Cousins laughed together and made up stories.
Granny and Grandpa passed out biscuits while the mothers weren’t watching,
And I soaked it all up and smiled as I sat with my berries and scissors.

The boiling berries were rolling as bed and story time approached.
I balanced the jam plate crinkle test and the hungry caterpillar.
The set point was reached and the hot jars filled before bedtime.
I promised the little man gooseberry jam on his breakfast toast,
But all he wanted was the now; another story, then one more, then one more….

I sealed the lids and my mind drifted far away from now.
I thought of cold dark winter mornings.
Of the days and nights distant from the summer sun,
I thought of porridge breakfasts with stolen gooseberries.
I looked at the the rich dark juicy red jam,
And I hoped that all these memories would be the warmth to see us through the winter.

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