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Photo by Jeremy Thomas
It has been so many summers since
we gathered here and listened to
the porch railings creak while the
sky thundered and flashed and
threatened to trample the brambles of
blackberries little hands had so
carefully planted so many summers
ago when we still gathered here to
run barefoot and dive headfirst into the
blackberry brambles to see what little
hands could find hidden between leaves
and dirt and ants and thorns until we could
not see if little hands were red from the
berries or from the cuts and scratches the
thorns had left behind like the summers
when we gathered here have left only
me behind with creaking porch railings and
brambles more brush than berry but
not completely without and I with my wrinkled
hands am able to fill a single bowl in the calm
between squalls and I wish I could bring one to
my mouth and taste the summers when we still
gathered here and I would if I could not see the
bitter and the sour in each bright black orb so
mocking and mean that my body already
rejects them and instead I crush each berry one
by one until the bowl is empty and the rain runs
down the railing’s bones and the red juices run
over my fingers and into each little line of
age and life and heart and thorn until I cannot
see if the red is from the inside of the berries or
the inside of me, as if it makes a difference.
Hanna Olters is the author of several short stories and poems, all unpublished. She is currently a student based in Berlin.
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