Blueberry Blood

In my hands heaped
a mound of wild blueberries,
dark, round, purple pebbles.
The tiniest fit inside my pinkie nail;
the largest thumb-sized. Naveled, all.
I held them under a spigot of running water
come down from a mountain reservoir,
where glacial fields melt into rushing falls.
The water was thick with cold; it rolled
and turned the berries over in my palms,
their blue the same blue as my veins and,
where sunlight struck, another shade of blue
that I saw once in a tiny stream
shearing across the split of a glacier,
a pale blue lighter than sky.
The cold spread. The berry skins tightened, split,
giving up their juices, calling up how water
ushers forth from a block of melting ice, that essence of oxygen.
The way winter wind spires inside of the hollow of trees,
the snap of ice-encased branches breaking
and crashing to the ground.
Or how icicles splintering downward grow sharp.
The shivering sound of a knife spearing
frozen meat, sawing through red sinew and string to
the solid core of it.
How remarkable that summer berries
call up the buried life of deep winter,
deep water, deep ice, all still, all quiet,
yet moving beneath the stillness with a rush of life.
How even this day, a summer day that ripens berries,
makes my hands grow cold.

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