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Ginny Lowe Connors

No pumped-up, tasteless decorator
berries here, just this thin box
warped and stapled, heavy with its heap
of small fruit, radiantly red.

When I hand over a few bills
to the freckled girl stretching
her long legs toward me, I feel Iíve gotten
away with somethingó

Iím five again, Mother busy
inside with the baby, and Iíve made myself
scarce, stretched out on my belly
in our garden patch, sandy soil

warm as a body holding me. The house
with its sad smell of milk, diapers
soaking in a pailó itís off in the distance now,
nearly disappeared. Iím snaking my hand

into the ticklish leaves to pluck
a sun-warmed berry, popping
it into my mouth. And another. Another.
No waiting till later. I donít have to be

patient; I donít have to be good.
No bigger than the tip of my thumb,
sweet berries in their little green caps,
fragrant, beaded with tiny seedsó

Birds have picked some over already,
leaving, not holes exactly, but glimpses
of tender white bellies, unadorned.
When I touch the messy edge of one

it feels like a secret I shouldnít know.
My fingers are stained. I admire them,
lick them a little, feel tension
in the stem as I pull at another berry.

My teeth carry the flesh to my pleasured
tongue, and juice keeps the sweetness
going. The seedy nubs give just enough
resistance. Everything I want.

This poem first appeared in Long River Run.
Used here with permission.

Ginny Lowe Connors is a retired English teacher in West Hartford, Connecticut. She has published several collections of poems, including Toward the Hanging Tree: Poems of Salem Village, and she has edited a number of poetry anthologies, such as Forgotten Women: A Tribute in Poetry. Ginny runs a small press, Grayson Books, and co-edits Connecticut River Review, a national poetry journal. Learn more about her at  





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