STAR POems: Bramble

(Blackberry brambles can be stripped of their thorns and used to fashion baskets and other useful artefacts).


The first man clips off her thorns one by one,

turns her placid and tractable,

cuts her off close to the roots,

twists her into something useful,

something of his own making.


The second man threads her through a hole

in a tin which tears off her thorns,

shreds her pristine flesh.

This task makes a sound like a strimmer,

reshaping, remoulding, destroying.

He puts string in her carcass.


The last man leaves the thorns that defend her,

allows her blossom to feed the bees nectar

and helps her grow the fruit

that might bloody his fingers,

applauds as she strives for the tops of trees,

rejoices as she waves at the sun,

becoming all she was meant to become.


Margaret Jennings.