The beautyberry bush blooms just as school
starts. The green berry cluster comes out

about the time the yellow school bus pulls up.
Summer’s green purples, like the bruise

on my middle-left toe, taped to its buddy.
Suddenly purple takes over my yard,

the neighbors’s yard, the doctor’s office,
the post office. Every where we are hurt

can’t hold back, can’t wait for fall.
Behold, our pain!

Berries unripened, astringent beauty


  1. Where this poem takes my thoughts,
    no words to describe,
    except maybe to say
    the burning bush had the same effect on me
    for years.

    (Loved the image of one toe taped to the next, like school kids holding hands)

    • Thank you, Marilyn! I’m glad to know that burning bush has affected you as well. This one was a gift from a friend, after my last one died in the drought (as I described in The Joy of Poetry).