Sloe Gin In August

Written by: Gracie Bawden

Round and ready
Fit to burst
They grow like grapes here
Cheek to cheek they bend the bones of the branches

Every year
Two daughters
A mother
A grandmother
Rid the jewels of their armour
Delicately balancing beauty between thumb and forefinger
Like compacted snow

I know

I know that one swift squeeze and summer would seep
Right through its purple skin

In the basket that lays on the ground
Their silver crowns reflect the sun
Straight up to our thighs and hips and cheeks
They proudly await their fate.

A drop in the deep
Bitter liquid
Three months of bleeding sweetness in the dark
The end.