Poetry

Blackberry Winter

Blackberry Winter ©Hannah Truelove 2018

“Holler’s near!”
He spoke in a drip of molasses,
His tongue like sweet tea.
“Is it dangerous?”
I asked,
My tone like a skittering varmint.
“Only for the ghosts,”
He teased from a corn cob smile
“I ain’t believe in ghosts”
Not since the sun came to these parts
And that’s been quite awhile.
My brother raised a patched hand-
Checkerboard bandages,
Butchered doctorin’
“Climb up that tree as far as you can”
He whispered like a whistle through the swamp
I obliged, barely nine,
And skittered to the top-
“Tell me,” came the honey drip
“Just what you see.”
I peered into the fog,
My eyes wandered the bog-
“Out there!” came my holler, pointing west.
He helped me down, I gave a hound dog howl
“Nearly there!”
I stopped-
My brother was gone.
His dirty hair-
Mud-smudge face-
I searched- like Mama Bear on the hunt for Cub
How could it go so wrong?
There! I see him!
“Brother!” I hurled into the blackberries
“Little Sis!” he threw me back
“I reckon we got sep-er-ated!”
“Made me real frus-ter-ated!”
We exchanged our grateful hug
“Now you’re it!” came the snap
And we were off, in our play yard-
Through valley fields,
Hollow creeks,
Wildflower meadows
‘Til fireflies shone,
And the stars filled the sky,
And the day turned to night.
Like a limpin’ wildcat
We dragged our tired bodies home
‘Til the next day we’d roam

© Hannah Truelove

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