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Our August Poem of the Month comes from Eamon Grennan’s forthcoming collection, Plainchant, due for publication September 2020.


Lovely, aren’t they? . . . Sweet, too, already,
is what she said, the woman I met by chance
on my morning walk as she was reaching an
arm clear over brambles to pluck another
plump ebony-glinting blackberry from a
tangle of briars growing by the narrow lane
to the sea. Here, she said, turning back to
me, Have one — holding the flat of her out-
stretched hand out to me, from which I took
(trying not to touch the soft centre of her
life-lined left palm while noting the three
rings on its fourth and middle fingers — one a
simple band of silver or white gold, another
glistening with tiny green diamonds, the last
a small sapphire oval), took one blackberry,
and when she said Take another I took
another. Lovely, thanks, I said, walking on
then and saying, and hearing her say as she
walked away in the opposite direction, See
you . . . each of us delivering the farewell
that’s conventional around here, which all
know is not to be taken literally, and I could
(knowing she was turning the corner that
would put us out of sight of each other),
could lick my stained lips at the intense
brief sweetness of the fruit and feel the
slight hardness of the one seed that lodged
between two teeth, which my tongue (hard
as I tried) could not dislodge.

                                     by Eamon Grennan
             from Plainchant (September 2020)


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