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The Archibald Rutledge Prize

Susan Finch Stevens

Scuppernongs: List


I think I know who left the box
of scuppernongs at my door,
and I offer her bright bursts
of gratitude as my teeth pop
through skin after thick green
skin into the wild sweet flesh.
Later, I’ll press a portion
into juice for ice and vodka
and a toast to vines adorning trees
along the edge of childhood fields
where my grandfather and I
rode on horseback to gather
the flecked grapes
for rendering into jelly
meant for toast of another sort.
But sweeter yet than jelly
were the orbs we palmed
from bags slung loaded
across our saddles
as we tarried under the trees,
reluctant to return home,
reluctant to turn away
from the wild’s sweet flesh.

Scuppernongs: Text
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