wild raspberries bagsgroove
Wild Raspberries
(a Duplex)
by Julie Standig

On a bad news day we picked wild raspberries.
They were tart, but not distasteful—a little like us.

          The jelly rings went sour and left a tart lingering taste.
          Three deaths, one hastened, one forlorn, one unborn.

Three lives hastened, unborn, forlorn, have left their mark.
She could not recall which leg had the smooth, oval, snake bite.

          Lilith’s bite is worse than a snake’s and leaves a smooth oval stain.
          The old woman believed every death was merely an end of story.

Do not end the story on an old woman’s belief.
The goal is to ingest every word in every book he wrote.

          Every book, every word he wrote is a most worthy goal.
          The deep ache is a reminder to keep breathing. Keep breathing.

Keep breathing. Despite the deep ache. Keep breathing.
We picked wild raspberries on a day full of bad news.

PHOTO: Wild Raspberries by Bagsgroove (2016).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In a favorite workshop, we were discussing Jericho Brown’s poetic form, Duplex. And I was fairly certain this was not a form for me and my skills. Which only meant, I had a need to try doing a duplex poem. My biggest motivation when writing any form, is one main requirement: it must have significant meaning to me in order for the writing to become impassioned. Nothing less will do.

julie standigABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julie Standig has studied at the Unterberg Poetry Center, participated in Writer’s Voice and was an active member of a private workshop in New York City. A lifetime New Yorker, she made Bucks County her home not long before this pandemic and proudly became a member of the late Dr. Chris Bursk’s springtime workshop. She continues to write with many of those talented poets. Julie has been published in Alehouse Press, Arsenic Lobster and Covenant of the Generations, Sadie Girl Press,  Schuylkill Journal Review, US1 Poets/Del Val as well as the online journals, Rats Ass Review and Silver Birch Press. Her first chapbook, Memsahib Memoir was released by Plan B Press, and she is currently working on a full volume collection of poetry.