Picking Late Season Blueberries Near the Rifle Range by Kathryn Petruccelli

Open spaces lead to this:
a horse, grazing,
a meadow of bushes blushing
with fruit,
after the juiciest bites,
weighing down the tips
of the branches,
their heads dipped
into the blackest blue beads.
It is slow going, there is a softness
that must be attended to,
berries nearly overripe,
flesh plumping or shrinking
inside its skin.
These are not the days
of handfuls lifted greedily
to the mouth, but
of a modest tart, and, if I persist,
a quantity to freeze.
For every three I pick, I flatten
one on my tongue, savoring
the sugars. Now and then,
my children flash past,
laughing through blue teeth;
beyond the trees, I recognize
the sound: boom…boom.
The breeze pushes on
toward September,
as I coax the small fruits
from their stems. Each berry,
falls mute to the bottom
of the bucket, the sun glinting
off the harvest — a cluster
of tiny celestial bodies.
Light travels at a constant speed
regardless of context:
the slant of the sun
illuminates with equal readiness
the shoulders of my children
running between the vines,
the dark metal of a gun barrel.
In the next field over,
someone’s taking aim.

From: http://www.glass-poetry.com/journal/2020/september/petruccelli-picking.html

Date: 2020

By: Kathryn Petruccelli (19??- )

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