Berry fields stretched out above the meadows
that curl like water down to Lake Champlain:
acres of ridgy green leaves,
red seed-specked sweetness.
I came early to that one row among hundreds.
Alone I picked, content.
I was one yellow hat on the hill,
a solitude surrounded by thrush song and bees.
Then there she was, in her black pants,
a bright and flowery shirt,
talking too loud to her scattered companions;
there she was, squatting in the straw
between the plants I’d been saving,
the direction I was working.
It was hard to refrain from standing to accuse:
Mine, it’s mine, all mine!
The dog lifts his leg against a tire,
cats rub their jaws along the sill,
monkeys howl and hurl sticks and pits.
People throw stones at tanks,
knock down houses, burn
crops and forests all over the world.
I bent back among the berries, breathing hard,
picking only the best,
the ones I wanted for my very own.