nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

small scale economy – picking berries

with 6 comments


~

'five blue berries'

~

small-scale economy

~

my box of berries spilled

on the footpath,

between leaves

of Kalmia and wintergreen

hawkweed and cow pies

~

the cousins, their boxes brimming,

stood gawking, dismayed,

I was certain they were thinking

dumb city girl, spilled her berries

box only half full anyway

~

instead, they gathered around me

sympathy in every hand

scooped most of the berries

into the box

added a few from nearby bushes

~

seventeen cents he paid me

half the value of a box at full

the cousins had picked a crate or more,

remembered the wasted berries, left on the trail

and wept at the loss

~

~

Published as: ‘small scale economy’, Canadian Stories 16 (94), December 2013/ January 2014

Copyright 2014 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

March 24, 2014 at 7:14 am

6 Responses

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  1. I love picking blueberries – my friend has a blueberry patch behind her house. It’s a race to get as many as possible picked before the birds get their share. Thanks for stirring up some pleasant memories, Jane!

    Like

    Barbara Rodgers

    April 1, 2014 at 11:32 am

  2. This brought me back to my first job, Jane. I spent a summer picking blueberries when I was nine years old. I earned $1.00 a crate, and it had to be heaping with berries. I thought I was rich at the end of each day when I got paid, and never really noticed how hard the work was because I was too busy eating my fill of berries as I picked each day. Thank you for the wonderful poem, and the reminder of a simpler time. 🙂

    Like

    Robin

    March 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    • Hi Robin. I’m glad this poem brought back memories for you. I can still see those spilled berries, working their ways between the weeds and grasses, forever out of reach. I always ate more then I ever picked. Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      March 25, 2014 at 5:51 pm

  3. This is lovely. I too remember the angst over spilled berries and the loss of income because of it. A few pennies meant so much back then. This poem captures the emotions so well. Clear images, precise capture of those moments. Well done.

    Like

    Carol Steel

    March 24, 2014 at 7:33 am

    • Hi Carol. Thanks so much. The poem is one of my series on memories of summers at my grandfather’s farm. When I started to explore this subject, I was amazed at how much I remembered. Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      March 25, 2014 at 5:48 pm


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