Out of the mouths of birds
That’s what I’m thinking
As I pick
They fly into the trees at my approach
And from their lofty seats
They scold me anxiously
Oh, not the biggest
Not the best
A golden doe and fawn
Have bounded to the thicket
At my step
And Mother snorts at me impatiently
An interloper on their morning picnic
A path of trampled grass
Tells me the wild turkeys
Made a hasty exit too
The only ones who do not seem alarmed 
Are several buzzing deerflies 
Orbiting my head incessantly
I’m almost grateful for their generous
Their willingness to abide with me
And their droning feels like music
In the midday sun
I reach my hand right through a spider’s web
Causing him an extra day of work
Another creature I’ve annoyed
The berries drop into my bucket 
And I have the feeling
Of being watched from every quarter
An unwelcome intruder
You let me pick here grudgingly
Do you not remember that
I belong here too
I walked these fields
All summer long
A barefoot child
I tramped through juniper
And brambled undergrowth
And knew this berried pasture
To my native core
I’m one of you
The heat wave overstayed his welcome
And taxed the ripe fruit heavily
So today I feel I must pick sparingly
And leave some blue upon the bush
For you 
I wanted just enough to make a pie
But I will be content with half a pail
Enough for a cake or tart
Come out from thicket
Down from trees
Retrace your way through grassy paths
And gather what I’ve left for you
The field is yours for you to roam
I depart the feast reluctantly
And my new friends
The deerflies
Politely see me home