Picking Blueberries at the Convent

Catholic Poetry Room This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Marjorie Maddox.

Picking Blueberries at the Convent

Split berries,
bruised berries,

plump berries,
yellow-not-yet-ripe berries,

maroon-almost-there berries,
give-into-temptation berries,

scattered-sublime berries,
oozing-past-prime berries,

hidden-below berries,
nowhere-to-go berries,

over-your-head berries—
all beads-of-prayer berries.

In the bramble of branches,
the tangle of twigs,

beyond scratch and stain,
the sweet shrub blooms,

its small fruit destined
for discard, dirt, dessert, or

divine intervention—
delicious rote of rosary.

Originally appeared in U.S. Catholic.

Marjorie Maddox, winner of America Magazine‘s 2019 Foley Poetry Prize and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University, has published 11 collections of poetry, including Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation (Yellowglen Prize; Wipf and Stock); True, False, None of the Above (Illumination Book Award Medalist); Local News from Someplace Else; Perpendicular As I (Sandstone Book Award); the short story collection What She Was Saying (Fomite); the children’s books A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry and Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems; Begin with a Question (Paraclete Press); Heart Speaks, Is Spoken For (Shanti Arts); Inside Out: Poems on Writing and Reading Poems with Insider Exercises (Kelsay Books) I’m Feeling Blue, Too! (Wipf and Stock) Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (co-editor; PSU Press); Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry (assistant editor); and 550+ stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies. The recipient of numerous awards and Pushcart Prize nominations in both poetry and fiction, she gives readings and workshops around the country, including at Franciscan University, LeMoyne College, Wheaton College, Penn State University, and elsewhere. For information please see www.marjoriemaddox.com.

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