The Mason jars are prepped; the pectin’s hot;
and orphaned berries plucked from far and wide
weep juice in bowls and plates and wait their turn
to be preserved—this season’s sweetest thing.
Some goes bad before it can be sold,
while others never make it to the floor
or shelf; a few expire, some just get old;
and others go on sale or get returned.
From dusty boxes stored away, they break
the wax to taste the jam and silver spoons
disturb the sticky skin; this sample takes a bit
by bit away, takes something out of it,
but that’s the game. Let none be bound for land-
fill’s waste; still, there’s no accounting for taste.