The Berry Pickers by Al Pittman

Many a day we climbed

beyond the last hay-mown meadow

up the rock strewn face

where the Burnt Hills dipped

to meet the peopled valley

and as we groped our well known way

toward the summit of the first rise

to where the way was worn

and the travelin’ easy

we could see

through sun-squinted eyes

(where the trail opened above us

here and there

to give the climbers their bearings)

the white flour sacks

wrapped around sun-stroked heads

there were others ahead of us

but no worry

we had our spot

and they had theirs

where the squash berries green and firm

were waiting to be picked

by counted cupfuls

and dumped into Cream of the West bags

to be toted home to the kitchen cupboard

to ripen

or to be sold at doors

for 50 cents a gallon

 

                  Al Pittman

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