Poetry Month Day 6

As NaPoWriMo leads a national challenge, around here WordxWord gives their own daily challenges and invites all comers to respond, on their own or on social media.

In the last few days I’ve remembered my family and winter nights at the college theater, looked back to the the time when I went freelance and the exhilaration and exhaustion of deadline nights in the newsroom, and then looked ahead to August and ripe corn.

And then a book brought up an old memory and another taste of summer. Today’s prompts are, from NaPoWriMo, “food,” and from 30/30 “the guilty chromosome” — which I’m adapting to “chromosome,” because I don’t think guilt belongs in any living body, especially not in the coding.

Reading your meditations
on words and forms
and inexpressions, I want
to write wild blueberries
in wet August air
— a stiff shock of low bushes
on the exposed slope
above Petersburg Pass.

They are, no doubt,
a microscopic system
of particles, energies,
liquid osmosis, rising
to diploid chromasomes
sticky-tipped pistils and
pollen-coated filaments

as bodiless as the image
of the long-past day
when I picked them
with the man who had
not yet taught me
the absolute form
of my own body,

and still they lie
on the hill tonight,
root-stocks in half-frozen soil,
seeds cracking in the pulp
of fermented fruit,
the new, wet germ
of the flesh, juice and skin

that we tasted rain-wet
at the top of the pass
while lightening lept
and came on up the valley
— debating, if it struck
would it run downhill
and lap us round —

and charging the air
with the tang of berries
and the flushed skin
of his hand touching
the skin of a birch tree.

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