Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Last of the Blackberries

These solitary meetings
I have learned to treasure –
The stir of leaf litter against the boots 
Relegated to ‘country walks’.
Blackberries survey me
Their crony stalks, ancestral eyes
In fresh rainwater, see
My swaying figure tainted by computer chairs,
Climbing stairs
The usual times.

Fruits now largely overripe
Splitting at the seams and crusted
Like dried speech
On a tongue of leaves
The type he would spit and say
‘They’re past it’.
Past it
All these modern terms, and turns
Grace the lonely mouth
On the autumn morning
Where thorns in the fingers
Still sweetly

My head, half-bent
To hear the children coming.

But they don’t
Instead the breeze
Breathes back the old scent
Of fruit
 Tightening on the vine
And I crush them now
In adult hands

Used to holding silence, seriousness,

There is a cold
Which comes with grief
Realising childhood and a father’s
‘Passed it’
The days of blackberrying with
Ice-cream tubs.
Now the season’s gone

My smile is plastic. 

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