My grandmother gathered moist black crumbs.
They were fragile, the shape and color of whispers
In her wrinkled palm,
But they told me no secret.
She pinched one in half for me and put it in my mouth.
Her smile was slow
As I rolled it between my teeth. It tasted of grit
And pepper, and the dry smell of her hands.
Thirty years ago.
We explored that tangled mountain of briars and mad hornets,
We trespassed on trails carved by wild dogs, and the pines scowled
Like the angel at Eden's gate,
Because we stole.
Little roots veined with red,
Slick, heavy green leaves
Hairy white seeds with curled edges.
A purpose for everything, she said,
But I learned nothing from her. On the way home I threw her words
Through the car window.
Seeds abandoned to grow in the broom grass,
In cracks in the pavement.
That does not trouble me.
What troubles me now
Is that there were seeds
In her voice.