vanilla, orange zest, cardamon
arrowroot to thicken
is the blackberry aware of
the historical echoes
of long-separate incidents.
Berrying the bramble wall,
a summer ritual that cat claws
children’s hands in red-black drupelets,
always reaching for the sun-fattened berries
atop the briar, torn and tangled
in the bramble-kite
higher and higher
until swept away.
Lucifer, when cast from heaven,
fell from the sky
onto a blackberry bush,
and now the archfiend
rides the hedges
on Michaelmas Day,
his face smeared
with the last of summer’s blood.
The Toy Chest
This much we know is true
or so the story goes
that when the fairy-wand turned up
it wasn’t cloaked in the watchful eye of an owl-faced tree
deep in the Hercynian forest,
or hidden in the heart of a fox-earth
scattered with five-petaled lilacs
and freshly churned butter.
It hadn’t been lost like a set of spare keys
under the doormat of a Highland brownie stone,
beside an offering of milk and bread
nor did the woman on the Red Line
mistake it for an umbrella and tuck it under her wing
on a rainy day in Boston.
It wasn’t discovered in a bouquet of Arum lilies
by a local nurseryman fearful of harbingers,
or threaded into a garland of milkmaid flowers
or traded for a bracelet with a silver bird clasp.
When it was found, at last, the fairy-wand
had been cast aside, waywardly
buried at the bottom of an old toy chest
amongst a bestiary of once-familiar animals,
wooden blocks, broken teacups, an old rag doll
with red thread tied around its throat,
and a white horse, its mane unfurling like a gilded tapestry,
searching for its spiral horn.
Damon Hubbs lives in a small town in Massachusetts. He graduated with a BA in World Literature from Bradford College. When not writing, Damon can be found growing microgreens, divining the flight pattern of birds, and ambling the beaches and forests of New England with his wife and two children. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Book of Matches, The Chamber Magazine, and Eunoia Review.