ink, so purple and sweet and moist they stained
the bottom of the wooden fence where
summertime crept between the planks onto the brim
of the tin pail I’d placed on the dew-drenched
ground. From the sweet garland of thorns, I plucked
a handful of blackberries, eating half then dropping
the others into the round bucket. By early
morning’s end, I’d shoved as many berries
into my mouth as I’d tossed into the shiny pail.
My jaws bulged with the thick, syrupy juice
of summer and longed for the warm, mushy pulp
that transformed into my grandmother’s pies
a few hours later. The flakiest crust, as necessary
as love and mercy, pulled me from my room
at the end of the hallway toward summertime’s
black, honeyed goodness and the pastry fork
my grandmother left for me on the kitchen counter.
Shay Cook’s love for writing began at an early age when her mother would punish her by sending her to her room when Shay got in trouble. For Shay these moments were exciting! With pen in hand she crafted funny poems, serious verses, rhymes, and free verse. Her love of poetry continued throughout high school and college as she gained a deeper enjoyment of literature. Shay earned an MFA in Creative Writing from National University and a Bachelor's in English from the University of Phoenix. She is the recipient of the Hillsborough County Lit Wit Poetry Contest, Winner of the Tampa Tribune Letter of the Day, and author of a collected work of poems entitled "Black Silk." Shay’s poetry has appeared in both online and print venues. Her recent published work can be found in The GNU Journal, Mother’s Always Write Magazine, Silver Birch Press, Entropy Magazine and The Narcist Playbook by Nutshell Media Group. Shay is currently working on her second book of poetry, "A Pale Shad e of Color." In her spare time she hosts local creative writing workshops. Shay lives in Tampa, Florida.