Mulberries in the Piedmont
From the first snow melt
until my coatless hike,
I’ve walked under this tree
without noticing its mulberries.
I rush to pluck the fruit,
ripened purple over a warm night,
pop juicy morsels in my stained mouth,
gambling on sweet against tart.
A mother starling nags from overhead,
so I leave a few for her hatchlings—
a generosity I now regret.
Mulberry season is precarious—
and a man can’t be held responsible
in these perilous times.