Thursday, September 13, 2007
Brambles hang heavy, sweet with berry temptation on their hedge branches. You drive by; they shout after you: “Pluck me.” You stop; glance back; reverse; stop again and wind down the window. “Fill up your mouth with my round sweetness,” they call and pout. “Roll me over in your warm, wet darkness before you bite and swallow me. Eat me up till your lips blacken and your tongue shrinks from my taste. Wrest me from this thorny green and let me die happy in a shortcrust pie.” You nod. You say: “How much?” They say: “Your lucky day. Today, all day, I’m free.” Honeysuckle too, spindly, pink and cream amid white vine weed and russet hawthorn beads. “Summer,” the hedge says. “Ah summer that was. Gone now. Almost never here. But we shall take comfort in the autumn that is come among us.” Over the hedge, cotton reels and cubes of straw mark the season's shift. Fields worked; already green shoots of rape and wheat haze the ever restless earth. One or two late and golden fields of oats, rustle with embarrassment, still to be standing there, while the wind pushes away the skinny warmth of the day.