These Days, My Berry Picking Happens Within Plastic Containers


Mostly, my fingers shrink from mold and squooshy, caterpillar-like guts. But when I was little, I used to pick big knobbly blackberries and the rare black raspberry from the overgrown bramble that separated the end of our front lawn from the private road we called “the slow road.” Even as a kid, and certainly as an adult, the a sudden, albeit leafily hidden, glut of free, limitless fruit never failed to stir up rapacious, crazy-fisted delight. Or, as Seamus Heany puts it:

You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer’s blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for

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