How do these present times

change what you write? the poet asked.


Another poet responded, It means we can’t write

about blueberries anymore.


The poets, around the circle, wiped their tears

as another rose,


In this present time,

in this necessity to write of what is real

and what matters most

how can we NOT write

of blueberries?


I mean, in our time of such ugliness

who will recall us to beauty?

I mean the shape and fragrance of it,

how in this small blue orb rise oceans and seas,

mountain lakes and tears.


Who in our time of such grim truths,

will tell of the surprise of discovery,

I mean, this patch of bushes

we discovered along the mountain trail as it opened

out of the dark woods onto the rocky peak?


Who will remind us in such a time of bitter discord

of the taste of sweetness?


Who will speak clearly of stains,

the futility of saving ourselves from them,

on lips and the white shorts you knew better than to wear

but couldn’t help yourself for summer is made for times like this,

I mean, the messy juiciness of it all.


Who in these times will take the time

to tell of that summer day on the mountain

how we picked berries one by one

placing them with care in our buckets,

filling our mouths,

careful lest we lose one precious pearl?


Peter Ilgenfritz



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