★ ★ ★ ★


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Hanna Olters is the author of several short stories and poems, all unpublished.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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