A salmonberry is a
luminous spiral,
a golden basket
woven of sunshine,
water, and birdsong.

I’m told that the birds
sing so sweet because
of all the berries they eat,
and that show you
can have a sweet voice too.

In my Native language,
the word for salmonberry
is Alile’. In Sanskrit, Lila means
God plays. Salmonberries
sometimes look that way.

Every year they debut,
spectacular in the landscape,
worthy of their genus name—
Rubus spectabilis, meaning,
red sight worth seeing.

Each drupelet holds a seed
and the shimmering secret
kept by rain—of how to rise,
float above the earth, feel
the sun, and return.

Copyright © 2022 by Rena Marie Priest. Originally published in A Dozen Nothing, 2021. Used with the permission of the poet.