I found blackberries growing off a construction site in Brooklyn
I almost ran into the branches as I walked down the sidewalk
Up, in the blue sky, their stems disappeared
as soon as I touched the ripest fruit.
They fell into my hand and onto the pavement with their
dead brothers and sisters
and I noticed how the younger berries had stronger stems
not ready to leave their parent tree
And on my way home I saw
the same two old men on a porch
the same I’d seen leaving this morning
the same silence they’d been sharing for hours
And I thought about
the distance that grows between us as we age
as we fall closer to the ground
food for birds and insects
But we get better at being with each other
the more that distance grows.
And we cling to memories of the ones we’ve lost
until our brain synapses are like a petrified forest
and society has no more use for our inflexible thoughts.
The roots to our ideas become stronger as our ties to everything else
weaken and soften like old fruit.