mulberries

Little purple fingers
Mulberry tree
The patio floor covered in half-rotting figs

that smell sweet
Pitting olives on a plastic stool

while your mother lounges on a cot on the floor.

The first spring rain
exhales
and you come in with your socks soaked demanding something to eat

The wound on your oldest brother’s leg is healing and I worry that the humidity
will mildew the bandages.

It’s been three weeks.

Ahmed still hasn’t returned.
No one thought they would keep him this long. He is only 9 years old.

The rumble of an engine in the driveway, a twig cracking

footsteps.
Your father with bread and juice.

Rain pools in the trenches of the vineyard

I try to scrub your little purple fingers clean But, like you, they have a mind of their own

Who am I to tell the mulberries where to leave their stain