For the 80th Birthday of playwright Bernard Kops
mulberries in the communal garden
grass squashed black with them
branches loaded, offering them up
gorging your vampire mouth
a child of eight – not eighty
We eat with much more ‘politesse’
each careful berry twisted from
its stalk, intact, in case it bleeds
and spoils a shirt or dress.
greedy for mulberries
stained to the careless core
with ruby juice eat more and more.
Bloody rivers run
down fingers, teeth, chin, cuff
as if you supped on glorious maidenhood
and there could never be enough
of your uncomplicated feasting.
Nothing between your hunger and the tree;
the impulse and the eating.
‘Mulberries are Life!’ you roar
and stuff and stuff.