I love this Jean Janzen poem. It supports my own bias--to grow in openness and skill to taste life to the full.
Wild Grapes --Jean Janzen
Grandfather, dying in November,
asked for wild grapes from
a distant creek. He remembered them,
sweet under the leaves, sent Peter,
his eldest, on horseback.
Through the window the light,
golden as broth, filled his bedside cups,
and the dusty air shimmered.
I have known others who, at the end,
crushed the flesh of nectarine against
the dry palate, or swallowed bits
of cake, eyes brimming.
What to drink in remembrance
of each morning that offered itself
with open arms? What food
for the moments we whispered
into its brightness?
Grandfather, the last pain-filled days,
dreamed cures. He who loved God,
who would go to him, but who also
loved this world, filled as it is
with such indescribable beauty that
you have to eat it.