As if mesmerized, i took a green and white bowl out of the cabinet, and walked
out the door, across the sunlit grass, my back to the house
where scattered across the floors of two rooms upstairs
there are unpacked fragments awaiting my decision:
on, to the west
? or, off with their heads
Is this artifact
of my life important enough to come with me?
Someone has notified the sun of the first day of fall. Its rays
fall on my skin only, warm and cordial
, but not really friendly.
They're making plans, changes in their routine are already evident.
But they're pleasant enough, and the grass is still green.
The names of these berries vary regionally, and i'm not even sure
if i call them by the correct one. Not that it matters. They're large,
i can hold only three or four of them in my hand,
heavy, glossy, black
just four without breaking druplets. I crouch and reach under hanging brambles
to gather from droop
ing clusters that shine darkly.
Can you tell me what happened to the blossom,
blackberry blossom, when the summertime came?
This is my mother's favorite berry. Today is her birthday. Today is the equinox
Today is yet another day of leaving
, which is more or less strange than the last
I should be asked later what i am thinking now, how i'm feeling, now, because
the answers that come from those questions on the phone:
sad, nervous, busy, happy, eager, brave
all seem like little lies. It looks to me like my only thought
is the thin skin
of massive blackberries, the thin skin of the
tiny brown frog that appeared out of the grass, their relative size.
Would you say, i said to me, that this berry is ten times the size
of that frog? (that would be awfully cramped
, but possible, i replied) Or
(a sudden imagination that almost makes me laugh)
how many little frogs would cover the surface of this berry, tessellated Escher
and hanging with sticky toes to that precarious
Would the berry collapse
under that weight?
The frog disappeared again.
I'm suddenly seized again with the number of things that want doing
and by the tender sweetness of my mother, in the kitchen, probably watching,
who does not know that i know about the party she's planned tonight.
The pile of berries in the bowl looks like a cross between obsidian, amethyst,
black caviar, and bituminous coal. Tastes like summer
. Leaves marks.
Blackberry blossom, the last time i saw one,
was down in the bramble where i rambled in the spring.
The lyrics are Mishelle Shocked.