Salmonberries

Wine Salmonberry

Every year, I forget and
reach for the promising clusters of
red and orange hidden in the bushes along
the forest trail.

I forget that salmonberries are flavorless,
that their sour blandness
makes them ill-suited for
jams and pies.

And I forget about the mean-spirited alliance
between salmonberries and nettles,
their leaves nearly indistinguishable
from each other.

Long after the taste of the berry has
faded from my tongue,
the nettle’s reprimand burns
on my hand.

But the sting will fade, and next spring,
I will reach for salmonberries
again.

© 2012 Petra Martin