Mulberry Juice: by anonymous 20th century poet

I stop by Gebos for a pail
full of memories
of purple-tart mulberries and of childhood gone. My keys plink
into the bucket
recalling one early morning mulberry picking with
Ingalls-inspired calico bonnet and battered tin pail. Pail empty. Urban,
pesticide-laced mulberries stain
my lips. You pass by. I acknowledge you
with a polite “hello” though
your weathered, unwashed, thread-worn countenance leaves me queasy
inside. Low hanging berries depleted, I make my way
down below the ravaged train trestle, singing, pail swinging
as I go. Thorned-vine creepers grab at my sleeves and brittle twigs snap
under my feet, as I skip between shadows
cast like a child’s broken xylophone. Violet light
penetrates under-path overgrown, and there
you are,
beneath the eye of God, blue-red
engorged and petting. Pail slips
from my mulberry-stained fingers, as I rise to raging ten-year-old
height, hands on hips. “You mother fucking bastard! You had better
get the hell out of here.” Bravado fails
me, and I run, eyes stunned- blind, bonnet flailing, braids flying, leaving battered pail behind.

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To read more poetry by anonymous 20th century poet, click HERE.
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