Scott Withiam
Sweet Talking

Blueberry picking, filling my bucket, at the same time,
eating my fill. The full, provided life.

It got to me. I got flush with the flush
high bush blueberry. “I had a father,” I said. “He's dead,

but living in Florida he grew something too -- tiny oranges.
The natives liked to call them bitch oranges.

When picking them, he said, 'No amount of sugar
turns those sour bitches around.'”

“We're no longer talking fruit here, are we?” said the bush.
“How many women left him or did he leave behind?”

The bush revealed an empty bird's nest
that till then it had kept hidden.

“That's not what I was talking about,” I said, or
at least not how I felt. This is a full, a beautiful day.

I took the largest blueberry from my pail
and put it in the nest. “For every egg my father ever laid,” I said.

“One blueberry?” the bush said, “You expect that to fly?”
“Yes, I do,” I said. “Baby, compared to them all,

yours are the sweetest.” “Father,”
the bush said, “do they ever learn?”

“Your father is alive?” I asked. “What does he do?”
The bush shriveled. A bird broke from the nest.