U-Pick Blueberries / by Stillwater Magazine

By Amanda Boyle

 

In late-July sun

my mother and I

kneel in the

dry, sandy earth

staining our knees

with crushed blueberries

as we drop plump fruit

in our bucket

and I shove fistfuls

in my mouth.

 

The sun bakes my neck

and the voices of my aunts

two rows over

drift on the heavy air.

Another

sister has become trapped

with a man

who doesn’t love her

and two young children

inadvertently hold her hostage.

 

My mother’s silence

noticed only by me

as I pluck the berries

from the bottom of the bush

my hands stained purple

as her bruised heart

that wants to believe

it is still loved.