Saturday, 21 August 2010

The First Blackberry

I started with the dandelions,
the various rampant weeds huddling around the front door
as if they couldn't wait to enter
the empty house.
Trimming, pulling, uprooting
I wreaked order on the encroaching wildness of things.

Inside cobwebs sought to restrain me, restrict my entry
but I pushed through
door after door, room after room
reclaiming my old home, its ownership,
from its new arachnid inhabitants

The enclosed suburban garden silently flourishing
since my absence, convolvulus in spindly seven league boots
invades the jasmine
and I - now I am here - tear it out.
Untangling, painstaking, shearing as necessary
to assert my hope of life and love growing here again.

The hedge has gained feet of thickness,
reaching out for its old comfortable chaos
but the shears are in my hands,
the grass collects the leafy twigs in loose piles
till they too are consigned to that plastic brownness on wheels.

But the blackberries, shining there in sunlight, promising fruit for days to come,
for these, I hesitate.
And there are apples on the lawn. I look up.
The tree, baubled like a Christmas fir,
holds out one branch at hand-height,
offers me a single share of its wealth.

In this old, hard-won garden,
unrequested, quite in grace,
the fruits of summer,
hope of warm puddings for colder, harder days.

I gather the blackberries,
consider storing them,
then eat
moment of eternity
present gift.

Tomorrow, I will gather for the winter.
These firstfruits we must celebrate today.

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