"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mulberry Stains

The mulberries drip purple and sweet on my tongue.
I can’t remember a childhood summer without their stains.

Mama cursed each season of their ripening.
Yet she worked her magic with berries,
sugar, and piecrust into culinary perfection.

Hypnotized by the scent of fresh baked pie
our family of five would sit around a chrome kitchen table
chewing silence with amethyst glossed smiles.

It is so nice to taste memories without tears.
There is part of me that wants to paint my skin
with mulberries and pretend bruises never brought any pain.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

At Real Toads Grace challenged us to use food as the backbone for our poems.


Kerry O'Connor said...

Your poem is full of memory and emotion! What a line this is:
...chewing silence with amethyst glossed smiles...Then you hit us with those last lines. I know the flavour of mulberries so well from my own childhood, which made this piece so empathetic.

Marian said...

oooh, memories without tears. your last stanza is simply stunning, Susie. xo

Heaven said...

I like how you first weave the image of freshly bake pie with mulberries from a childhood summer memory. Then you hit us with the last line, bruises and stains on the skin. That's a painful childhood scenario ~

Thanks for participating Susie ~

Wishing you Happy Weekend ~

Sabio Lantz said...

Very nice twist at the end -- with poetic nuance.
Memories without tears. Pain as a stain.

Suggestion: Could you give us someway to e-mail or contact you. When you commented on my blog, you only list your twitter address, so I can't reply. (I replied to you on my site.)

Margaret said...

Lovely... and then the ending hits right in the gut!

Mary said...

There is nothing like those childhood memories of mother's baked pies, I think. In my house it was rhubarb pie that I associate with the season. The ending of your poem takes a twist...'pretend bruises never brought any pain.' Ouch.

Robyn Greenhouse said...

you worked a wide range of emotions in your poem - from the sweet to the bitter sweet - very moving piece.

Susie Swanson said...

This is a beautiful poem.. It brings back so many memories and brings tears to my eyes.. Your gift of poetry is astonishing..

Kay L. Davies said...

I remember those kitchen tables. And although my bruises were self-inflicted (I was clumsy even as a young girl). I remember the pain of childhood (also self-inflicted, but how was I to know?).
So very well done, Susie, but I'd better stop before I over-punctuate myself or you or both of us.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

We call them blackberries up here and they grow wild all over the Island...........I love them. I enjoyed the look back at childhood summer, and especially loved the poignancy of your closing lines.

rashmenon said...

Such vivid description and then, a perfect last stanza. I'm sure I'll read and savor this one many times. Thank you for the Mulberry Stains :)

Poet Laundry said...

The sweet and bittersweet are intertwined...if only we could separate them...great capture here Susie.

Mixi said...

It began with smiles and ended with tears.. a whole range of emotions, an entire childhood captured so succinctly and succulently.

BIttersweet, but such is life. Lovely!

Hannah said...

Oh, my...Susie...this is thick with beautiful details, emotion and I just love this:

"our family of five would sit around a chrome kitchen table
chewing silence with amethyst glossed smiles."

Your last lines are so poignant...the parallel in color with different meaning behind each.

Well done. ♥

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