Ode to a Blueberry
July 28, 2011 —
You bunch up here and create a yin yin of blue amid the greenery.
My fingers pick you quickly into a bucket.
You collect without protest. You are happy to be joined.
Your numbers freeze well in a flat layer in an oblong pan.
Your colors turns to blue-black, a kind of purple, but still blue.
A frosty blue. Bears love you and I see their scat along the trail
where I steal you in high summer, wearing bells to warn the bears.
When it’s time I pour your collected selves into a pie shell to marry
with peaches, lemon, sugar and cinnamon, to create a circle
of summer to feed the ones who gather at my table. It could be winter.
You do your job just as well. I see your splatter on the rocks in my woods
where the birds have eaten you and shat you out. You were a favorite food
in the fairy houses of my youth, placed among the marigold petals
and sticks and rocks. In the mornings you were gone, eaten by chipmunks,
cat birds—or fairies. Now in my wanderings I remember your journey
from pink bloom to green hope to ripe blue fruit. We should all know how
to travel as well as you. In the years when your numbers are scant—just a single one
here and there—we grow tomatoes and hope for the best. The senses need
what they need. In the fading of my time I will hope for the memory of a wild
blueberry on my tongue. I won’t have the words nor will I need words.
How we travel then must be as far away and as close as this tangled green
thicket where I now pick. A pie in my future and a bear around any corner.