Pulling Up the Wild Blackberry Bushes

seems ungrateful but they’re too plentiful

crowding the precious patch of sun

meant for the Heritage Red Raspberry

that cost $16.

So it’s a matter of hubris that we jerk up

those lesser cousins before they bloom

drag them over nubile grass and

toss their torn briars into fire.

Yet when I get to the last bush, I stop

remember how in August I needed

more fruit to nestle around the scant

peaches in my cobbler.

The berries were small but their juice

tasted of mulled wine, piquant but

not too tart, the grace note of a last-minute

potluck, others cooed for the recipe.

So I lay aside the shovel, knowing that

this last bush, cane too tender for thorns,

might one day be our savior

if the raspberry turns to dust.

— Ashley Memory

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