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Harvesting Grapes
Grace Hughes Chappell


It’s hard
to stare down a woodpecker’s
unblinking eye—we grab some grape bunches anyway
and leave the rest to him
ak-ak-king, hammering on the arbor wood;
lustrous black red
white and that eye of his, when somehow
it’s the tanagers who take over
by stealth without woodpecker noise:
how do they eat so many
in one gulp?—10 to 1 of a woodpecker’s take!
Old timers say grape berries ferment
inside a stomach—who knew
getting drunk was so simple? picking
crushing straining refining
bottling aging—
tasting rooms
completely unnecessary.

From ten mile creek almanac, a forthcoming collection.
© by Grace Hughes Chappell.
Used here with the author’s permission.



Grace Hughes Chappell lives in San Francisco. She and her husband  also tend a garden and apple orchard in Mendocino County, California. Grace has had work published in the Sunday SF Chronicle, the Anderson Valley Advertiser, the Richmond ReView, Short Fiction by Women, and various other publications.



Post New Comment:
Our birds used to get 'drunk' on the mountain ash berries. They would stagger and fall and as kids we thought it was pretty funny.
Posted 04/16/2018 11:04 AM
Yes!! Who knew!! Love this.
Posted 04/16/2018 09:37 AM

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