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My mission: the blackberries.
Like a stealth secret agent,
I walked briskly between the Locchrichios and the Petersons
sliding between the two houses
looking left, then right
for the following bad guys.
Then suddenly… I’m on an African safari
with exotic animals shrieking softly in the distance.
The neighbors dog snarls his large teeth.
I stand still, my back frigid with fear like a scarecrow—
they’re always garden their patch—
My own tiger, in my own jungle.
Finally when I reach the other side,
I’m now a weary hitchhike,
watching cars whiz past me.
In my mind I stick out my thumb
to a bypassing car,
but I am too afraid to do it in real life.
Finally I reach the shady tree patch
and out of my bottomless backpack I pull out my tiny basket,
and begin to fill it with the treasures that presented themselves before my widening eyes
The berries spread in front of me like the freckles of the red-headed boy who just moved in down the street
Each berry oozing with sweet nectar, making my mouth salivate.
I picked until my basket was full and then skipped home.
No more shortcut,
no more jungle,
no more tiger.
and the basket of berries,
that were ripe for the picking.