Rebecca Smolen’s short story ‘Berry Picking’

Berry Picking


I strolled down raspberry isles

a little overgrown, endless

choosing the Tulameens

rosy and polished when ripe, tart

the way I knew you’d prefer.


Warm hours filling green baskets

of berries and doubt this might make a difference.

A fine dusty layer of dry filth

covered my feet, legs, silence,

on hands that reached deep into the bushes

where no one looks

where vicious thorns are grander,

but so is the fruit, and possibly your

renewed love for me with them too.

My face beamed

presenting something you love

held by flushed stained hands

ripe with blood from punishing thorns.

You point behind me

to the large berries out of my reach,

I had not noticed.


You tell me it’s not difficult to know

how to satisfy you

as you turn heading home

with or without me

now too disappointed to speak.


What could anyone have said then?

Taut skin of the bubbly berries pop and splatter

as they plummet out onto rocks below.

Tiny blood droplets collected dirt

as they travelled down my drooping hand

camouflaged by raspberry juice

too ripe.


Rebecca is a writer based in Portland transplanted from NH in 2014. She grew up on a dead-end road exploring drainage pipes and pond life. Now settled here with her family, she works as a veterinary technician, volunteers with an animal rescue, pet-sits on the side, and promotes that feminism is for everyone.

Rebecca enjoys diving deep into forgotten memories and her weird dreams which all fuel her muse. She is a true believer of once down in print, words are no longer for the writer, but instead are meant to support, heal or console others.

You can find her writing most recently in the Unchaste Anthology, Mutha Magazine, VoiceCatcher and her first chapbook, “Womanhood and Other Scars” from

One thought on “Rebecca Smolen’s short story ‘Berry Picking’

  1. Pingback: Partnered Reading, March 29th, at Portland (OR)’s OpenHaus | SYNCHRONIZED CHAOS

Comments are closed.