Whistleberries at 5 o'clock

by Lauren Suchenski, 3.24am May 10th 2021

Certainly by now I've heard at least 14 stories of the barnacle-bear and the birch sap breeders that come to snap the twigs on the fourth day of May / if your soil fills up your boots high enough to scratch the top of your knees then you're ready to begin ;; the sign says scratch me ; and it means just what it says : it means tear the bark from the lumbered body of the tree ; it means scratch until the lottery ticket shows underneath ; the crackled skin of some dead rotting hunk of an oak // hidden beneath the scrawled passage there is a worm waiting to dig a small hole ; the hole will peel through the side and protrude outward with as little friction as possible ;; inside, I heard the hole glows -- and beyond the glow, if you scratch further, I've heard tell of the sack of five small whistleberries sitting at the back of the trunk waiting to be plucked ;; if you pluck them be careful, if you scratch them be wary, for these whistleberries carry you far past the crocodile teeth at the foot of the creek