Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Archive for the tag “jelly”

Berry Patch

I cannot trust someone who can just walk away
from an unpicked berry patch without
at least one wistful, backwards glance.
There’s always one more spot, a little farther in,
where the berries sway tauntingly
heavy and purple; wink seductively
from behind leaves and brambles.

I have a gatherer’s soul and, barring
bears and stepped on hornet’s nests,
I am genetically compelled to fill
the bag or box or ball cap.
It’s not greed that drives me,
it’s a deep rooted survival instinct.
It is physically painful to leave an eligible berry

And yet they come, these sport gatherers,
picking just enough to put in their muffins.
No thought for jelly spread lovingly on winter toast.
No plans for how to fit just one more bag of berries
in the freezer.
Laughing and chattering like magpies.
Do they feel the eyes of a thousand years of gatherers
watching them, guiding their hands,
steeling their resolve?
Do they see the primordial link?
The purity of the simple act of picking berries?

I see my hand move and know that my great
grandmother to the nth degree once moved
her hand the same way, once
hefted her heavy basket and thought of how
the spoils would feed her family.
I feel a weight of responsibility to pick,
to store, to preserve.

No, I cannot trust someone who can just walk
away from an unpicked berry patch.



A Toast to Toast

A toast to toast
it makes the most
of bread that’s slightly dry.
Spread margarine
or maybe pean-
ut butter and then try
not to drop
crumbs down your top
they itch so all day long,
they shift in your shift
and slip in your slip
down where they don’t belong.
Though muffins are sweet
toast can’t be beat
for a place to put your jam
Or for homemade
orange marmalade
or scrambled eggs and ham.
And bagels are fine
if you don’t mind
a hole where the jelly gets caught
and then falls through
and drips on you
and leaves a sticky spot.
So toast the toast,
heart of the most
important meal of the day
and sweep off crumbs
and lick off thumbs
and go upon your way.


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