Your words were berries of the rowan tree
surprising in greyness of October
seductive their orange frivolity
when sober thoughts might come and be of death.
The black birds ate the berries anyway
surviving the deadly prussic acid.
Thus I shouldn’t worry what others say,
in placid lines that really mean to hurt.
Like black birds I chewed the fruit, digested,
immune to poison that must come along
with all brightness of the tree, to test it.
I’m strong enough to let your venom pass.