I have been waging war on blackberry. Since early spring her shoots have come, bursting forth with great voracity, taking over my yard, my garden beds, my fence line and grape vines….my whole life it feels at times.
This poem came to me as I was out working, clipping away at her lush vines. My arms, covered in scratches, my brow damp with sweat. I felt the first line come in, burbling like a spring coming up inside me. I put down my clippers, went inside, took my notebook and wrote.
Sometimes blackberry feels like my enemy.
Her thorns catch my skin and I tear
her roots, gnarled and strong
wider than the thickness of my thumb
hold deeply in the earth
and won’t let go.
She seems to come up everywhere.
Bright shoots, thorns still soft
sprouting among the snow peas
twining herself around artichoke,
befriending a fellow spiney one.
She reaches her tips out from under my house.
Just now I blinked-and thought
I saw her growing out of my wall sconce
she is even growing in my mind now.
As I write, my arms are red with scratches.
My back tired from bending to dig and pull her roots
and still I hunger for her ripe, purple fruit
it’s a hot cold kind of love affair we have
blackberry and I.
Bee’s nuzzles blackberries white flowers.
Enthralled with her fine yellow pollen
an eruption of white blossoms now fill the places
in my yard, where blackberry reigns.
We have made a treaty of sorts.
A line of demarcation
she is fair game when she rears her head in the vegetable beds
but the hedgerows are hers to dominate
and there she will grow to sweet fruition.
White blooms soon will, thanks be to bees favor.
Turn to hard green fruits- and then!
Lush purple mouthfuls, full of sweet juice
staining my fingers and my tongue
my clothes and my counters
my good wooden spoon.
She leaves her mark on me it’s certain.
I suppose it’s like any other love affair
hers and mine
prickly at times, and at others
sweet as nectar.