Looking For Berries

David Swerdlow

What of a day when nothing
forwards itself, when waiting
for an event to ripen
ends with neither the beauty
nor the resolve I believe
I deserve? And yet I go

looking for berries, along
roadsides and the wild edges
of fields I had forgotten,
not because I have grown old
but because
there is this want
of undoing, the smallest

instinct to linger only
as long as the world will
have me. I pull the drupelet
from its stem, and a little
juice stays bright on my finger,
a little life to marvel.


A finalist in the 2019 National Poetry Series competition, David Swerdlow has published two books of poetry with WordTech Editions: Bodies on Earth (2010) and Small Holes in the Universe (2003). His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, American Literary Review, and elsewhere. His first novel, Television Man, was published last year by Czykmate Productions. He teaches literature and creative writing at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.