This Season's Berries
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The leaves of this maple are bronze

purple, shaped like flames,

here hang this season’s little

glass berries, the water from passing rains

the weather of little heaves in the chest

congestus clouds exhaled in bouts of sadness.

Demeter’s not ecstatic this May

and doesn’t bring the summer in a burst of screaming

dancing fire when her daughter is let

to lift her veil this year, but she comes up

slowly. She sees her daughter –

barely makes a word or a passing glance at first.

so some days are worse than the last day

and then she is bitter like a clump of dirt, like char,

has days where she sneers at her girl,

a face like a fishhook has torn her lip.

then days where she is nothing but kind forgetting smiles

then days where the killing seed in her heart billows.

Mostly, she cries. that’s the most interesting to me,

that the crying waits until the moment of relief.

All winter she has buried herself

in a furrowed brow, silently tilled

the sky full of frost, dreamed out shimmering

lights to kill the solar wind,

but come the relief of spring it pops loose:

a wheel that waits to turn until after the carriage is drawn,

a baby who doesn’t cry until she’s held,

a woman who sits at her bedside and thinks

until the thoughts are all gone, condensed into

clear, clear water

on maple leaves.

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