sumac lemonade

we are red-handed murderers
emerging from the scrub stand
fingers glazed—tart and sticky— 
stained purple, tongues 
still biting with the staghorn's 
final kick. we scrabble the pack 
        for more bags
        for more sour drupes
        for more sumac lemonade
               the sun pours delicious heat
               like syrup on the clearing 
               you smell the bitter edge
               of seared bluegrass seething
                      one more bloody foray
                      one more cut of sharp berries
                      one more bag of gory drupes
                            fingers bruised with residue 
                            sumac stinging our quicks
                            sunlight sweet and delicious

© Rob Thomas