The lonely stillness of morning
Opens gracefully.
A wide vista of outstretched sunbeams,
Shining down on golden fields,
Undulating outwards
Like waves in an alien sea.

Overhead, a shadowy collage of clouds
Bring with them the perfect Autumn Time breeze.
A fragrance that lifts me.
Straightening in my seat,
I peer intently ahead for the dusty road sign,
Looking for orange flags,
Anticipating the feel of fruit laden baskets,
The click-clank of scales and weights.

The mysticism.

The gracefulness of the ritual.
Unerringly, the wise old raisin man glides through the
Twisted rows towards me.
Black wrinkled skin stretched upward in a smile as
He beckons me
With a wave of his paisley handkerchief.
His rich syrupy voice drawls on
About this year’s crop,
Which rows are picked and which are untouched,
The sweetness of the berries

He’s right.
The berries are wonderful this year.
Huge and black and ripe.
Quickly as possible, I wind my way to the end of the row,
Reach to pick,
Too quickly,
And find myself stabbed by thorns.

But the berries call me
Even more sweetly than before.

I reach back again.
Nearby, children scoff and shake their heads,
Smearing their cheeks with what their parents have picked,
Their chubby fingers bearing no scars.