18 May 2014

An Ode to Berries

Summer is upon us and berry season is right around the corner. I started writing this poem two years ago and have only just finished it.

The sun was shining on the shrub
To everyone’s delight:

He did his very best to make

The berries plump and ripe--
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The freezer was acting sulkily
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business ripening
What she had frozen by the tonne--
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
“When berry season’s done!”

The strawberries were red as red could be,
The blueberries, blue as blue.
The blackberries were overgrown
And cast a purple hue
Raspberries were protected by their thorns:
Only the bravest could get through

The Sista and the Sista
Were empty and with ache
They wept like anything to see
Such a bland pancake
“If it were only filled with berries
Our hunger we could shake!”

“If seven maids with seven mouths

Picked for half a year.
Do you suppose,” said Sista One
“They could get the bramble clear?”
“I doubt it,” said Sista Two
“And shed a happy tear”

“O Berries, come and walk with us!”
A Sista did beseech.
“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Let’s spend the day in speech!

Come and fill our pails,
There’s room enough for each.”

The eldest berry looked at them
But never a word he said:
The eldest berry winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the berry-bed.

The strawberries were the first to come,
Their seeds pressed flush to flesh,
Green caps secured upon their tops
Ensured the fruit was fresh.
They eagerly awaited an afternoon
Free from any stress.

The blueberries from their small bush home
Were next to get in line
The raspberries came afterward,
All red and plump and fine.
Eventually the blackberries
Sauntered over in due time.

Together they strolled until
They found a clearing, nice and neat.
A blanket was lay upon the ground
On which to rest their aching feet.
And all the little berries
Jostled for a seat.

“The time has come,” one Sista said
“To talk of many things:
Of daughters and of nieces
And of sistas traveling.
Of adventures of the past
And of what the future brings.”

“But wait a bit,” the Berries cried,
“—Although it’s just a hunch—
We believe it’s half-passed noon
And yet we haven’t had our lunch!”
They turned their heads and all implored:
“Mightn't we have a bite to munch?”

“A bowl of cream,” one Sista said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
And some sugar and some chocolate
Would be very fine indeed—
Now if you’re ready, Berries dear,
We can begin to feed.”

“But not on us!” the Berries cried,
Releasing beads of sweat.
“A day of friendship you said:
A promise made is a promise kept.”
“The day is long,” said a Sista
“And the sun has not yet set.”

“We are so glad we’ve met you!
We hold you in high esteem!”
One Sista lowered her eyes and said:
“We’re running out of cream.”
Another bowl was brought
And her eyes were all agleam.

“It seems a shame,” a Sista said
“To play them for a fool,
After we took them from their homes
Where it was nice and cool.”
But from the other Sista’s mouth
Issued only a stream of drool.

“I apologize,” one Sista claimed,
“For acting such a brute.
It really tears me up inside
And your services I salute.”
With sobs and tears she sorted out
The very plumpest of the fruit.

“O Berries,” said a Sista,
“We’ve had such a pleasant break!
Shall we get you home again?”
But none of the berries spake—
And this was scarcely odd, because
They were all in a pancake.


  1. Honestly? I hate everyone that doesn't love this post.

    1. Me too. It was such a tour de force, and so few people cared about it.

    2. Like, where is dad on this? Dad??