Picking- A Poem by Ren Pike

IceFloe Press

Picking


the blueberries are ripe again, not many this season
our patch overtaken by larches and such
the bushes are still green-leaved yet barren
not so different from most of us

go pick a cup

Mom would say, while peeling, apron on
paring knife moving at suppertime speed

here, near the cabin, quick

my brother’s ears perking, always ready for Dumplings

I’ll make some Buckle, maybe a Grunt

I loved your Squares, whipped waves of egg whites
sweet berries bobbing, in time become fixed

at summer’s end, pail and cup we’d go picking
through Lambkill, through Alders
Labrador Tea a set of small whips
up the winding path to the wild, where
stout woody branches served mass on their sleeves

quiet filled our buckets, bent backs in the light wind
flies keeping busy as fingers plummed
smell of black spruce marked at-ease August
hands deft and breezy winnowing fruit from…

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