The Point Of Picking Berries
All for a handful of berries the walksidles up the mountain top on paths
beaten by boots and occasional trucks.
Hikers and cops, bicyclists and hippies,whole families from the cities now astray
playing One Of These Things Doesn’t Belong Here.
Nothing belongs here but the berry clone –a single shrub that seems to be thousands,
and covers acres, and which draws us in
where anything hungry could watch for us,including this plant whose fruits seem to lead
ever farther from the trail and the homes
from which we often drive to shop for berries,never fearing the bait or the hunger
we feed because it seems to be our own.
M. A. Schaffner has work recently published or forthcoming in The Hollins Critic, Magma, Tulane Review, Gargoyle, and The Delinquent. Other writings include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia or the 19th century.
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