Fall 1981 • Vol. III No. 4 Poetry |

A Red Carillon Whose Berries Are Bells

   Because rain fell early and long this summer, the yard   spawned hundreds of wild strawberries:      pendent hearts  below a canopy of leaves,    whose sawtooth edge we learned      to spot from afar, but had to search for in sweat weather   when a porridge-white sun     made them fruit low  in the cool hutch of the grass.    Some grew no larger than a wart,  or a kernel; others, fingernail-size,       we called "huge,"   weighing them on an open palm like garnets   fresh from the lapidaries' quarter      in Tangier. Overripe, some looked too bruised to touch,  but here and there    one grew perfect to form:  crusted with small seeds,      roly-poly, and symmetrical, the textbook strawberry, Fragraria    (fragrant, sense-swilling),     ready for the margins   of a dictionary, and our plates.    Each day, before dinner,  we preened the law

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Poet, essayist, and naturalist, Diane Ackerman is the author of two dozen highly acclaimed works of nonfiction and poetry, including The Zookeeper's Wife and A Natural History of the Senses.

Read More

Soft Lens

By Diane Ackerman

   Because rain fell early and long this summer, the yard   spawned hundreds of wild strawberries:      pendent hearts  below a canopy of leaves,    whose sawtooth edge we learned      to spot from […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.