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SLOE PICKING
Bethan Davies

I approach the tree
in our open field.

There are blue droplets
of sloes on its branches.
Bursting, ripe, almost
ready to pop open.

I grab my basket
ready to pluck the fruit
from its faithful branch
holding it stable.

The basket overflows with
berries bright and beaming.
Flowing with their sour juices,
tart to the tongue.

We leave the tree branches bare,
my purple mouth stained
by its jeweled capsules.
Purple-veined fingers, tainted
by the unforbidden fruit.

My worn wicker basket is
drenched in congealed purple juice.