Sloe Gin

By Seamus Heaney

The clear weather of juniper
darkened into winter.
She fed gin to sloes
and sealed the glass container.
When I unscrewed it
I smelled the disturbed
tart stillness of a bush
rising through the pantry.
When I poured it
it had a cutting edge
and flamed
like Betelgeuse.
I drink to you
in smoke-mirled, blue-
black sloes, bitter
and dependable.

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