Sandra Yannone

The Taste of Blueberries

Oh, yes, it could

have been another

season of waking

to the blueberries

that swelled, ripened during

the blue night, whole and full,

when we did or didn’t sleep,

and when we could wake

to rub our blurried eyes open

and wash our hands

clean of night and ripe

for morning and the ink

of the blueberries that could write

something over and over again

from the tips of our fingers if we chose

to rise and walk to the fields.

And even if we never spoke there

while picking and even if our fingers

bleeding blue never touched, we would know

why we were here picking blueberries together

in early morning, underneath the bird songs

and roosters’ calls. And even if

our lips never touched

the taste of blueberries,

they would be here, too,

with all of this wanting, wanting

all the same. And the longer

we stayed silent and the heavier

our buckets became full,

we would know we were here

for this. But this was not

that summer of blueberries

and neither was the last or the one

before that. And I’m here

choosing to pick blueberries

by myself, because the truth

of what I’ll never have this season

or any other, unless you arrive begging

for blueberried-stained kisses,

wakes me to these berries,

makes up for every year we’ll never have.

And knowing that

our lives were always meant

for this, this fruit still blooms

delicious inside my berried mouth.



Sandra Yannone’s poems and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals including Ploughshares, Poetry Ireland Review, Prairie Schooner, Women’s Review of Books, and The Gay and Lesbian Review (Worldwide). Her poem “Requiem for Orlando” appeared in a special issue of Glass: A Poetry Journal. Her debut collection, Boats for Women (Salmon Poetry), was released earlier this year.


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