Blackberry summer, blackberry Sunday,
Blackberry nipples show through your shirt.
Night rain swollen blackberries hang
from the fence, soft and juicy,
to stain the fingers and tongue.
Two buckets lined with white bakery bags,
we walk through wet grass to the old fence line,
in early morning's cool air,
buckets swinging, hand in hand.
A few sacrificed to taste,
you bite our first victim and feed me half,
blackberry sugar fills my mouth,
sweeter for being crushed by your lips.
Briars bent by their fruit yield a bucket full
before blackberry clouds chase the sun
from a blue summer sky and a cold thunderstorm wind
finds us in the old hay barn, sitting in the loft door
listening to the cloud's shadow
dance and clatter across the roof.
Desperate dust devils scour the pasture
for damp leaves and sticks.
The sun hides in thunderstorm twilight.
Silver dollar rain drops drum on the tin roof.
and the chilled air raises goose flesh on your thighs,
lying in the hay, straw catching in your hair.
Tin rumbles under waves of rain,
timbers groan under the weight,
covering the moan deep in my chest.
I inhale the electric air surrounding you.
Flash and cannon fire lightning
paints you marble white
against white hay in a bleached world,
Color returns to all but your face,
closed eyes and open mouth
sucking air for a heaving breast
White knuckles wrapped in my shirt
pull me over you for cover
and shield from the next bolt.
What comfort can I offer except
good company in our incineration
and blackberries, hand fed to a trembling tongue.
like a pin feathered hatchling in our straw nest.
Let the blood return to your cheeks
and your heart quit pounding like the rain on the roof.
The day will outlive the storm
and we are safe in our loft
to plan a summer afternoon
to wash blackberries for making
blackberry pie and blackberry jam
and sweet blackberry love.