Wednesday, April 15, 2020


There were plenty of peaches last August —
a hundred thousand suns drowsed on branches,
some fallen already, bites out of them.
The rule was no eating as you filled the basket,
but there were bites out of the ones on the ground,
people were cheating. How could you not
in the face of all that plumpness, sweetness
that buzzed with luscious fruit magnetism?
Everyone darted through the trees like insects,
drunk on the togetherness of strangers devoted
to a common cause,  and the children
of the family who tended the trees
gave everyone a little cart to wheel
through the rows, to make the hoarding
easier, a lighter load.

You went for another basket and then we had way
too many peaches for our household of six,
so I peeled and froze a bunch after we gorged
on all we could, and now, months later, with
all of us a safe distance apart, I bake a pie:

and drain
the extra juices
so the crust
isn’t soggy,
use a binder
like cornstarch
and surprise,
it turns out
to be artificial,
like holding
a conversation
with a peach
through a bad
phone line,
its voice
through the crust
and crumble,
a squeak,

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