Jan/Feb 2002 Poetry

Blackberries In Late August

by Stacey Fay


Blackberries In Late August

Why do I choose halfway through my work
break walk to head west on College street?
Just a block east is Walker street
and wouldn't that be more fitting? But my fondest
memories of Carbondale live on College street
where men were shy guys and I giggled and skipped
and drank and flirted like a fiend.

The sidewalk is bordered by blackberry brambles,
I clumsily pry the black from the unripe red, staining
my hands like hair dye when a Mexican Mongolian
Morrocan man says "You'll getta stomach-ache."
while I suck and I scoff "Nah, I only eat a handful."

When I wind down to 12th, cats the color of crows
and cream come out from bushes, tails tickling
my moving legs, following me towards the International
District where all paths lead to Vietnamese sandwiches,
Pho, and Dim Sum houses yet I am still nowhere
nearer to my own northern home.


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