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To a Friend Who is Sad and Far Away

Deborah Bacharach

Imagine I am bringing you raspberries, fresh picked

the perfume snuggling around corners

under doorways, sweet heady, already with you

before you even have a chance to open the door

to deep jewel tones. Imagine each gift

on your tongue, abundant.


Imagine the scaffolding did not collapse, your colleagues

agreed with your plan, the judge ruled in your favour.

Imagine you won a Fulbright, the diagnosis wrong,

your daughter allowed

to live with you the rest of your days.

Imagine the man you loved, loved you.


Then imagine me in the rows of raspberry canes

I shuffle leaves, turn my body upside down

to find the still ripe.

I tender lift each glow from the vine

where it has grown because

of how the earth moves, how the sun

leans in and someone’s great care.

Imagine I am thinking of you.

Know that this is true.

Deborah Bacharach is the author of After I Stop Lying (Cherry Grove Collections, 2015). She received a 2020 Pushcart honourable mention and has been published in journals such as The Adroit Journal, Poetry Ireland Review, Vallum, The Carolina Quarterly, and The Southampton Review among many others. She is an editor, teacher and tutor in Seattle.