FathomOnline

 

 Fathom 1981

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Inside Cover

 

Poetry

John Bell (2)
Nancy Leslie (2)
Elissa Barnard
Larry Gaudet (2)
H. M. Westin
E. J. Mundell
H. M.
Margot Griffiths (2)

Prose

Paul Tyndall
Alexina Scott-Savage

Extras

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H.M.

 

 

Blueberry Picking

Those dry mornings in late August were for blueberry picking.
So, after fighting a bit over who’d get the small dish,
We’d go. Hardly awake. Us kids with hands on chins
Would stare out the car windows. Thinking.
Preparing for picking.

The ubiquitous fog-colored house was always there,
But less and less was left every year pointing out the place.
The blueberry barrens, once cultivated fields, were laid out
   beyond
Until they dropped at last into bluffs, violently exposed by the
   ocean 
And cape upon lonely cape completed for the closest embrace
Of the body of water at the Strait.

All of this was was part of the picking, but we didn’t go just to
   watch.
You could still see the bottoms of our dished, stained from past
   uses.
The berries were right there within reach hanging on the scrubby
   bushes.
Of course somebody’d yell, “the place is just blue with them.”
So we’d all find a patch and start picking.

It would be tempting though just to sit and think,
Turning away from the others and crouching low above the
   ground
Imagining who might have lived in that house,
What they did; who they loved; and how they died;
And how they would feel if they knew I had come for berries
In what were now just barrens.

It would be tempting too just to sit and eat
Until your tongue and teeth turned blue.
Each berry was so brilliantly sweet. They tasted like August itself.
It was easy to believe that what grandad said was true.
The sweetest ones grow by the ocean.

. . . . . . . . .

Now I wonder if it is too late in the season to go back to that
     place.
Or if you would say those berries were only wild and small:
“We want something appealing to more sophisticated tastes.”
And yet, I’d think it was a waste if the berries were always left to
     fall.
Especially the ones that grow by the ocean.

 

last updated August 17, 2007 | © 2007 Fathom Publishing
poetry, prose, and artwork © individual authours | website created by Alana Paul