A perfect strawberry, Farmer Robert says,
is red all over.
No green,
no white anywhere,
not even on the point.
It is a full,
Shape and size do not matter.

The perfect strawberry
is picked,
fully ripe,
from its parent plant.
To find it
you must crawl through the dirt on your knees
seeking for bright red fruit
in nests of green leaves.

Some strawberries are tricky
tantalizing you with a bright shiny top
but when you turn them over
you find blotchy orange underneath,
or white or even a green hard place
at the tip of the fruit.
On these you must pass.
They will come into their own in time.

I would hold communion
out here in the strawberry patch.
All of us kneeling in the warm soil,
bright sun overhead.

Gently placing a strawberry
in each pair of cupped hands,
I would say,
“The Body of God.
The Body of God.
The Body of God.”
And we would all take, and eat.


Beloveds:  By popular demand, this poem comes out every spring,  with the strawberries.  In my garden they are just now perfectly ripe.  May you too taste the Body of God in the fruit of your choice, and may the juice run down your chin.