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Brittle bushes thrash my young skin,
thorns prickle the cuticles on my right fingers.
I hold in my left hand a tiny basket,
filled with raspberries.
escape the bushes
a forest only as tall as his arms, and my mother
puts those ruby berries in a place
not even my longest finger
the top of the refrigerator.
My lips smacked shut, closed out my tongue
from serenading the last berry.
When my father enters,
his hands are dirty from the outside,
and with those dirty hands he picks me up, and
carries me to the white sink so we both wash
earth from our juice-smelling hands.
I kick off my shoes and always find a thorn
stuck to my sweaty white sock,
never understanding how it got there.
My mother pulls it out, always saying
that she warned me to watch where I was walking.
Now crystal tap water cleans the raspberries,
my teeth squeeze the tip of one
and juice splatters onto my chin, not needing a napkin:
my tongue cleans the spot.
I have to eat this berry,
biting into its concave center
and slowly disposing of it down my throat asking for more.
until there are no more.
I ate them all.
Not until next year.