Poems

Blackberries

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We rode off the beaten path

(As we tend to do),

Looking for nothing but peace and freedom from the bumpy road.

And as usual,

We found the sheltered secrets:

Plump,

Juicy,

Sweet,

Just waiting to be devoured.

 

This tradition is the trend of our time together.

We stumble endlessly upon beauty

And the fruits of the Earth.

Our winding conversations

Sweep us through infinite fields

Of crackling summer grass,

And carry us along on the soft sea breeze.

We wade in deep waters,

Dipping our feet into possibilities for the future –

Daring to dream –

To imagine something different.

 

I wouldn’t have it any other way

Between she and I, though.

She tirelessly pulls me

Through the fog of my limitations,

Transforming it into a glittering mist,

Magical and refreshing.

The shimmering spray

Paints me with a new coat that is brighter

And filled with wisdom.

It seeps through my skin,

Changing me on a molecular level,

And planting the seed of hope

For the next generation.

 

When I was young,

We used to pick blackberries with my Grandmother.

The scent was just as sweet,

But the vines more tangled.

The small, secluded field was our own Secret Garden,

Tucked away behind her humble, but homey house.

In this little corner of my Grandmother’s world,

The air was fresh and clear,

Not smogged by cigarette smoke

Or stale whiskey breath.

How could I know the depths of her dark history,

When my head was nestled among the brambles,

My hand outstretched,

As if they could carry me toward the plumpest prize.

 

I am part

Of a powerful matriarchal line.

We are a bunch of

Sassy,

Sharp-witted,

Soft-skinned women,

But we have each,

At some point,

Neglected our power.

We have silenced our own voices,

Turned the other cheek,

Rather than standing up

And speaking our truth.

 

My truth is buried beneath my skin.

It is in the lives

And experiences of

My Mother

and Grandmother

and Great-Grandmother

and the women before them I never knew.

 

I wish I had taken the time

To talk with my Grandmas,

To show interest in their lives –

Before they ended.

But for now,

I am blessed with the Light that is my Mom.

And I won’t take that for granted.

I won’t waste a second

Of our precious Time.

For Bonnie June Baker, Jeri Marie Cabe, and Kymberlee della Luce. <3 

*Blackberries and portrait credit to Kymberlee della Luce.

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