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Day three on the farm.

Or maybe day four. Pretty quickly you stopped counting, because it doesn't really matter...

By Sarjé HaynesPublished 4 years ago 2 min read
Time passes differently here...

Day three on the farm.
Or maybe day four.
Pretty quickly you stopped counting,
because it doesn't really matter.
You're picking gooseberries again.
The scratches from the thorns are like
badges of honor,
or perhaps they are the start of a sentence
that might reveal some deeper truth to you one day,
if you dig deeply enough--
and repeatedly--
into the momentarily painful bramble at the center of the bush:
where the fruit still somehow flourishes, right at its heart.

A cedar waxwing swoops by,
and takes a rest in a neighboring blueberry bush.
Its crested head turns toward you.
You incline yours back to it.
There's enough to share, today.

Your skin is raw from sun and scratches and mosquitos who visit while you sleep.
The sentence on your arm is inflamed.
Those words you chose--
or did they choose you?
--sometimes cause pain too.
That constant reminder that in all circumstances, to all your questions,
"Acceptance is the Answer."
You're tested on this lesson, daily.

Your attention is too focused on the fruit.
Having forgotten the thorns,
a tiny needle dives deep into your finger.
You curse, and pull the thing out.
This needle is kind though:
no barbs,
no poisons,
no curses.
Only a brief pain to remind you to
Pay Attention!
to little things.

The fruit is small too.
Juicy and bittersweet.
Its shape a pointed globe,
that reminds you of old-fashioned glass ornaments.
Such delicate hand-blown trinkets.
Mom always kept them wrapped carefully in the wooden Christmas chest,
still in their original boxes,
decades after they were purchased
at a department store long-since forgotten.
As you pop the berry in your mouth,
it's a little like breaking the glass--
shattering one tradition in favor of
older ones.
Celebrating a harvest means something else to you now.
Surviving long winters--
well, who's to say what will survive?

The velvety skin splits satisfyingly under your teeth,
a tannin tongue taste
like grape, like cranberry, like communion wine--
you don't drink--anymore.
The flesh seems to melt as you masticate,
suddenly so sweet and somehow so red,
the taste of berry blood so distinct.

The tiny black seeds slip softly down your throat,
penetrating the fortress of body and soul.
And indeed, a seed is planted in you--
no, correction--
you are the farmer,
and you are the farm.
You are well-planted, and
bolting at times.
It's the third or fourth day,
but you are at home.
And that's enough to share, today.

Gratuities are gratefully accepted! Namaste.
About the author: Sarjé Haynes is a painter living in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, on stolen Long Tom and Kalapuya ancestral lands. She has two amazing adventure cats she coparents with her partner.

nature poetry

About the Creator

Sarjé Haynes

Sarjé is a painter and writer living in Kalapuya ancestral territory. You can learn more about her at http://sarje.art.

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