Elizabeth Barrett Browning had it wrong

Earth’s crammed with heaven
And every common bush afire with God,

But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”
from Aurora Leigh:

Monday the holy was , in fact, blackberries,
picking them with my daughter
among my friend’s abundance of bushes,
growing wilder
because her cancer keeps her
from cutting back the canes,

and we’re pricked time and again,
and sun burnt, too,
which gives us an excuse for tears.

By Wednesday the three year old
loses patience in the heat
and takes it out on his little brother,

but then we go to the farm
and teach him to pick blueberries
into the milk jug
on a lanyard around his neck —

and there is so much of heaven
crammed into his small face
at his blue plump achievements
(and earth on it, too)

that I find myself wishing
for all the sad, cynical or lonely people —
not to speak of ones who endanger
the safety of the world —

there might be more
of this living among common bushes
and plucking the taste of God.

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2 Responses to Elizabeth Barrett Browning had it wrong

  1. betsy says:

    So beautiful!

  2. Maren says:

    Thank you, Betsy.

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