Fruit Box Castles: Poems From a Peach Rancher’s Daughter!
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
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
small letters in cursive, a wedding gown--- a first mistake;
On one wall summer saved in jars: green
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
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
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.