Voices on the Wind Voices in the Garden
The Poison Berry Bush by Deseret Harris ďDonít eat the berries, they are poisonous,Ē we were told. But, they were pretty and red. We watched the birds eat them. They didnít die. Maybe theyíd only give us stomach aches. Maybe nothing was wrong with them at all. Twelve houses, six on each side of the street, and three times that many children made up our block, our world. We older children ruled. We kept the younger ones from the berries but tried them ourselves. Wilson and I snuck out during naptime when we were just five to learn what was special about kissing. Not much, at least as far as we could tell. We snuck back to our homes and still warm beds. The poison berry bush was the perfect place to hide. Not for games of hide-and-seek óevery child knew about itóbut our parents would not think to look for us there. Thatís why, when Drew and I were eight, and I learned that he had never been kissed, the two of us met under the poison berry bush in his backyard. After all, every boy should know something about kissing. Right? One kiss, then we plotted and planned until the younger kids woke up and burst outside. We were sneaky spies, famous explorers, great doctors, cowboys, cops, circus masters, scientists, and fairy tale characters. Our imaginations roamed free underneath the poison berry bush until we were twelve, and we made a fruit tart out of the berries and fed it to a neighbor boy. We expected him to get sick and quit begging for our goodies. It didnít work. He showed up the next day as annoying as ever, and, though we didnít admit it, the two of us were relieved. Old enough to be horrified by the might have been, we stopped visiting the poison berry bush and began our journey out of the Garden. He showed up the next day as annoying as ever, and, though we didnít admit it, the two of us were relieved. Old enough to be horrified by the might have been, we stopped visiting the poison berry bush and began our journey out of the Garden.