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Berries, Blood, Ash, Meteor


ISSUE:  Fall 2013

Time to pick berries. This strain (pink when ripe
instead of black) surprises me each August,
although I should be used to it by now.
Albino blackberries … Is there a bear
invisible behind the line of trees
here where I wrestle tendrils every year?
Something is watching.
Something startles me where I thought I was safest,
except that I’m not startled, only wary.
Except I never thought that I was safe.

Time to change the sheets. I strip the bed.
That bridal stain must be a mouse’s blood.
One cat we buried. Purring, her survivor
sharpens her talons on an attic beam
and hunts down something almost every night.
By morning, only one anonymous part
lies underfoot, not liver and not heart.
Call it a soul. The rest has gone to feed
the happy hunter. Nature red in tooth
and tiny claw holds up a page to read.

Time to toss some ashes in the brook.
A creamy cloud drifts toward the waterfall,
then the Connecticut and then the sea.
Or do they simply sink with their own weight?
Those we sprinkled on the compost heap
are buried under breakfast coffee grounds
already. A meteor late last night
scribbled its line of light across the sky.
You missed it? There are others. Patience. Look,
keep looking, but there is no scrolling back.

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