Blackberries’ end

Blackberries’ end

And when the blackberries are all gone,
the stalks bare, bearing only thorns,
where will I go?

This late summer’s afternoon I move, quiet, slow,
plucking the ripe berries, hearing the rustle
of wings, the quiet chatter of blackbirds,
the plaintive call of the greenfinches.

There is no anguish here, no distress;
the hand rises, arcs in grace like birdwings ,
reaching into dogwood, parting the hawthorn,
picking black berries from thorny canes.

So quiet and slow I move, in the alders,
following the stream, squirrels leap unaware
from branch to branch;
a deer drifts beneath the oak tree.

I breathe like birds breathe with no sound,
feet scarce crackle the dry grass.

But when the blackberries are all gone,
where will I go to find such peace, to join with the birds,
fluttering with my unfledged wings,

when the east wind blows cold,
and my hands are full instead
of the ephemeral gold of fallen leaves?


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

16 thoughts on “Blackberries’ end”

      1. It’s part of rural culture. mooning about with a couple of friends and their dogs and shooting at anything that moves. Thankfully it doesn’t appeal as much to the younger generations and they’re all gradually dropping off their perches.

  1. Beautiful and melancholy. But lovely to just wander out and pick blackberries! I hope there aren’t many hunters. What a way to spoil the beauty of your natural world.

    There’s a hawk calling in our backyard right now–can you hear him? 😀

    1. We have another fortnight before the guns start up. I’ll be wary of going over to the hedge then. Can’t see who’s on the other side. Yes, it’s criminal. At least it seems to be falling out of fashion.
      I saw your hawk. He came and perched in that hostile mimosa tree while we were having supper. We’ve never had one come so close to the house before. I should have known he was a friend 🙂

      1. He didn’t stay long, just enough to set the bough swaying and have us wonder what on earth landed in it.

        Its name: mimosa hostilis—it’s covered in thorns, like crown of thorns type thorns.

      2. Oh–well, he probably had to get back here.
        Thank you for explaining the tree’s name. I guess thorns are hostile. Although I do kind of like the image of it talking to a therapist. 🤣

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