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?