Among the Brambles

This entry is part 12 of 20 in the series Highgate Cemetery Poems


Brambly grave

Working through a black-
berry patch, you learn
a new way to move, step
high & slow as a heron,
pivot to trample back-
wards in your big boots,
& lean nimble as a lover
into the fiercest thorns
to get free. These are
not skills of widespread
applicability. But one
day when the sweat dries
& the mosquito’s skirl
dwindles to a soft wind
in the inner ear, you may
find yourself stretching,
stretching, stretching for
that last sweet berry
& wondering why in hell
your hand won’t move.

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10 Replies to “Among the Brambles”

  1. Like the picture and the poem both–apt and interesting conjunction. Well, they were black, weren’t they?

    I see you moving there, too, tall and stalky. This is not a short woman’s poem, it is a tall Dave’s poem!

    1. Marly, that photo like the others in this series was taken at London’s Highgate Cemetery, but I believe those are some sort of rubus — I’m not sure of the species. My mom (who’s also fairly tall) actually does the majority of blackberry picking these days, though I did contribute six quarts of wineberries the other night. I was thankful for blue jeans despite the heat — they are ideal for wading through briar patches.

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