Sonnet for Maya in Lieu of a Letter

Back to Issue 12

This morning I saw (one) blackberry dead,
its brothers dead, the bushes dead, a bird
(the bird is two) between the brambles, red—
not a bright red but red of earth interred.
And I know now is late, too late to bring
up sunshine, to ask why long wet summer heat
did not bloom into heaving harvest, ring
its joy in berries gleaming, blaring sweet.
This year is bad for blackberries. I’ve praised
their shade. I’ve kissed their leafy hands, bared teeth.
I’ve watched. I’ve waited, ’til the waiting raised
its head, revealing mourning underneath.
What’s left? Green tends itself, dies where it grew,
dreams earthy dreams. I sigh (the bird does too).

By Katie Schmidt

Katie Schmidt is an aspiring poet and painter from the farm country of southern Ontario, who is inspired by long, boring walks and laughing at herself. She received a B.A. from the University of Toronto and will be receiving a Master’s of Arts and Religion from Yale Divinity School.