Fruit Box Castles: Poems From a Peach Rancher’s Daughter!

Hi friends,
I am pleased to announce my new poetry book, Fruit Box Castles: Poems From a Peach Rancher’s Daughter is available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press. I hope you will find a poem or many that resonate with you. Please support small presses and my goal of selling 55 books by August 15! You can pre-order here. The book will be released in October 2020. Watch for book launch events that most likely be online due to Covid-19. I hope to have an “in the flesh book event” (that includes peach cobbler) when this pandemic dims. 

Thank you again for your support and that of a small press. Below are two of my new poems included in the book. The photo of me was taken by Mike Pickering at O’Neill Castle outside of Belfast, Ireland. It is where my Irish ancestors originated. The photo of the fruit stand is on highway 70 out of Marysville, CA where I was born and near where I grew up. 


Mom midwifed rows of freestones
Late July we’d sit under umbrellas of the walnut tree
peeling pink ribbons of skin
release pits in a curl of wrist

These filled canning jars clicking and clacking 
in cauldrons of water
pale circles of paraffin
floated on bountiful mouths 

November we’d yank the light’s chain
creep down the grouchy stairs
to the basement crocheted in spider webs
scatter whatever, behind steamer trunks that stored secrets:
kimonos wrapped in tissue paper, waiting an occasion,
the dragon tea pot, a formal table,
helmets pitted by shrapnel, uniforms grown too
letters in cursive, a wedding gown--- a first mistake;

On one wall summer saved in jars: green beans, pickles,
yellow hearts of peaches;

Mom stopped canning and I could never fit into her waders
use the watery screen of an I pad to recipe words---

can memories--picked ripe in season

honest labor.

Mother’s Sadness Writes a Daughter’s Poem

They lean against the flatbed truck
mother’s hair escapes a bandanna
dad’s straw hat half cocked
both in bibbed overalls arms chained,
smiles bright as charms.

Winter mother sews hope
into gingham curtains
crochets thimble sized shoes
pieces together squares
into pastel blankets
craves pickles and honey
keeps busy.

Named for their father she is born still
first born, sister the siblings won't know
tumble of crimson curls
on satin pillows pink as taffy.

The clergy speaks lovely words
for a child he didn’t know
placed in a casket small as a shoe box
the mourners called her a porcelain doll
the mother’s sadness writes the daughter’s poem.

Trembling Stars quilt earthy beds 
where olive orchards once grew
and families of crows dressed in black,
still harvest the fruit from those trees that remain.
Sparrows sing lullabies
from the choir stalls of cedar boughs.
Guardian angels hold watch 
spread marble wings frozen in eternal flight.




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