Blackberry Picking

Thursday, October 06, 2011 1:21 PM | Debbi Lester (Administrator)

Late August came with wet skin, rain, and heavy sun.

This being the last times of many firsts for us,

We plucked the glossy berry from the stem.

You told me not to eat the first one, savor it for later’s pie.

We envied the berries color, like the thickness of wine,

Leaving stains on our own skin, tongues: the lust of picking.

Our mother’s good bowls ran with juice and using our skirts as baskets,

We searched and gathered even when the tins were full.


While picking we talked about boys.

The rain ran down our skin, August showers forgave us.

The thorns of lovers, past, present, or distance, peppered

Our skin as we plucked the darkest of the fruit.

The nectar was sticky sweet, our conversation never turned sour.

Unturned berries in the bowls; red, green, hard ones, left behind.

The lust in these berries is jealous of you. The fullness of your hips.

Purple blooms across our hands and lips as we gather.

Beautiful, rich fruit, with August’s sun divided between you too.

Summer’s blood. Soaked into our flesh.

Roseanne McAleese

Roseanne McAleese is a celebrated poet, spoken-word artist, actress and filmmaker whose first and upcoming book is called, Strong. Female. Character.

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