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Blackberries at Six
Alexandra Umlas


I picked blackberries off bushes
with eager hands, hoarded them into me
as if they were gold or wishes, draped
across the still-green branches
of early fall. I shoved them into my mouth
until everything turned bruise-purple:
until my fingers and lips turned,
until my teeth turned and the tip of my nose
and even my stomach
must have looked like a plum, swollen
with those small-beads. Even the sky
flushed florid, royal between stretched-
out clouds. In that dark thicket, the bitter
sweetness of sunset not yet on my tongue—
I hadn’t found a sour one.

From At the Table of the Unknown (Moon Tide Press, 2019).
Used here with permission.

Alexandra Umlas lives in Huntington Beach, CA with her husband and two daughters, who inspire much of her writing. She loves teaching, reading, and taking road trips. Alexandra's first collection of poetry, At the Table of the Unknown, was recently published by Moon Tide Press. Learn more about her at









Post New Comment:
Enjoyed the repetition of the bruise-purpling turning lines right down to your swollen plum beaded belly... lol. Randy
Posted 09/25/2020 08:46 PM
Larry Schug:
I think there is a saying that "too much of a good thing is never enough". Live for today. For me, the blackberries are a sweet metaphor for life.
Posted 09/25/2020 07:05 PM
So glad to read this again. I second the recommendation for Alexandra's book.
Posted 09/25/2020 03:47 PM
Lori Levy:
Very appealing to the senses and great last line.
Posted 09/25/2020 03:33 PM
Linda Lee Konichek:
The details and images of this poem invite the reader to join in!
Posted 09/25/2020 12:46 PM
I am right there, tasting those berries! Wonderful poem!
Posted 09/25/2020 12:37 PM
michael escoubas:
I remember so well the blackberry patch I raided every August on the rented farm where we lived in my youth. Would give anything to taste those "wild things" again. Nicely done, Alexandra.
Posted 09/25/2020 11:11 AM
I am a fan. I highly recommend Alexandra's book. She handles form and free verse with equal ease.
Posted 09/25/2020 10:21 AM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
Meant to say blackberries.
Posted 09/25/2020 08:52 AM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
Delightful picturesque poem that awakens all the senses and puts me in the poem. I can see the six year old speaker eating blueberries, taste them and feel my face getting darker with every berry.
Posted 09/25/2020 08:49 AM

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