It’s that time of year again
Black fingers, black lips
And nobody seems to care.
We picked them as youngsters
Way back when;
My mother making some pin money
By collecting them for the Blackberry Man
Who called round once a week
In his big truck
And shovelled our offerings
Into his steel bin
As close-packed as they would go,
Dripping black water as he worked;
Mothers little trick of making them heavier
Than they should be
Was to add water to the barrel.
I see you were out picking them in the rain again, Mrs O’Brien
Was his only comment as he handed over her payment,
Here’s an extra half crown for your trouble.