Missoula
by Gloria Viglione

Late July,
Beth and I,

knee-high in lupines
on Blue Mountain,

search for tiny purple
gem-like berries on
low almond-leafed bushes—
legendary in these parts.

She told me some folks
go to the grave, never to share
their secret place—
others keep their discovery
in the family for generations.
We were not swayed—
she had been gifted her spot
from an un-named elder.

Though sparse at first,
the early seasonís cache
of wild huckleberries
kept us busy all morning
as we combed the sunny
slopes on our knees,
sang our sacred songs
in loose harmony
with abandon, and

filled our quart jars to the brim
with promises to the grave,

Beth and I,
late July.


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