for-blackberry

4


Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: Summer’s blood was in it,
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking… Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard’s.

— Blackberry Picking, by Seamus Heaney.