Can You Read Blackberries?
by Rufus A. Skeens


The Graveyard
on the mountain
behind the Hell Creek
Old Regular Baptist Church:

blackberries there,
like bruised thumbs
between the markers,
taste like Sunday hymnals.

After devotion, children,
hands bloody with juice
and thorn, squeal with laughter
as they wade the years

separating stone and stone.
An uncle here, great grandfather there,
sister lost in infancy…death
has no place here. Rather,

the somnolence of sleep
and time soon broken.
Faith says this---Holy Ghosts
and miracles abound

for those who believe in them. I
believe every blackberry
tastes sweet as music
on the tongue---you

just have to know
how to read the notes
to understand
the song.






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