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food Life: a Bag of Cherries

A bag of fresh cherries can be a reminder and a call to action


Life: a bag of cherries

The doorbell rang but there was no one there, only a shopping bag on the steps and a masked someone waving from a waiting car. This is confinement-kindness, a social-distancing neighbor bringing treats. In the bag is a small satchel of Bing cherries, bright as garnets, first of the season. Just looking at them I can taste their blood-red juice, play with their pits on my tongue. But because it is today and the police have killed another black man and there are protests in the streets, the cherries are in a tree in our backyard on May 15, 1969 and my husband is not coming with me to People’s Park where the police have killed James Rector and rolled out barbed wire in the streets and climbed on top of tanks with their machine guns, waiting. It is Bloody Thursday and my husband has decided to stay home and pick the cherries because they are ripe and it is their time.