The Berry Bush

Stoic, she relinquishes her treasures.

Fingers swish, palms purple with the richness

of the gift. She whispers soft

but I am occupied; berries bounce in a plastic

pail to the rhythm of songbirds.

 

The old-timers say

that the harvest is only heavy every

seven years. This is the one in seven-

fat orbs dazzle the eye

and my pail overflows quick,

tongue stained and smug.

 

I strip the branches easiest to reach, careful to

pry into intimate places, seek

her secrets with greedy grasp. I slow. Here, not all are

perfectly ripe. My fingers must pull with

respect, leave the immature for a later picking.

 

The pails are piling purple. Content, I

step back, prepare to sail home

with cargo hold brimming. I stretch,

look up. More. And more, and more hang. I hear it

indistinct, this lesson. On tiptoe, the blessings are harder to

harvest, require more of my complacency.

 

Patience prickles. Fingers falter, accidental purple showers

to the earth. Joints creak, muscles strain,

and here is the true miracle,  saved for last. Fullness scrapes the dirt

plump and glad. The  equation comes

clear, and I laugh aloud with the unexpected joy of it –

 

for when do blessings not hang in clusters,

ripe and ready to pick? And how is great glory not

gained with a stretch of stained hands toward heaven?

Which good and surprising delights

were not made the sweeter by bowing of the head

and bending of the knee?

 

I hear her now.

Her syllables ring loud in the silence.

And I, who teach for a living,

am schooled by the berry bush.

 

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Candy Crush

frozen cranberries.jpg

Embryo in frozen state, life that lies in whispered hush;

Seeds have time to contemplate prospective perks of  being crushed.

Future fruit that owes its taste to winter’s harshest, toughest blow,

Shows us nothing is a waste – frost breaks us down to help us grow.

ReMolt

skin

It wasn’t the stranger in her skin

but the skin she didn’t own;

the mirror lied to her for years

in countenance unknown.

But when she learned her truest self

was trapped beneath that skin,

she stretched her soul and slipped it off,

re-molted genuine.

Let It Fall

bare

Lay them down, let them slip

From bone-white anxious fingertips –

These pseudo-hues, these not-true-yous,

The ways in which you daily choose

To dress your soul in binary,

Faux your skin in finery;

When fiction’s tarnish falls away,

When forgery is let decay,

Your backbone rises plumb-line strong,

Authentic in its truest song.

So let it fall, remove that shell –

You’re beautiful au naturel.

 

 

 

Fully Grown

Morden Blush

The vows, inception, but a bud,

Which Time has now released;

The years, the layers, gracious flood

Where depth of love increased.

The petals, pathways intertwined,

Your fingers in my own;

The flower, beauty, souls aligned,

A marriage fully grown.