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Black Raspberry Canes


[clock] 1-MINUTE READ ISSUE:  Winter 2014

Nobody, my father said, could get so many
scrapes and scratches accidentally:
without them I probably would not have liked it so much.
Here was a part of nature
no one else would want to touch.

The longer I waited the riper they got,
as long as I kept track, as long as I had not
waited too late in the day; then I found dots,
scabs, stems, pale caps or buttons, bird-eaten or parched.
No more than three deep in the Tupperware bucket; that way

they would not crush one another but could ride
downhill, then stay cool in the fridge, and stay
distinct amid their glossy
overlaps, their tiny black-on-black embossed
like ridges on an alligator hide.
The berries came off when pulled gently,
between middle finger and thumb.
The first ones to look ready evidently
had nothing to come
between their segments and the new attentions
of the unrelenting sun.

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