First published in Pinecone Review’s Be Proud With Pride edition
The woman lied to herself.
Said life is not had without hope,
Believing hope resided within her chest
Just under the bones,
As she remembered the taste
Of fresh apricots,
The sweetness of their juices
Bursting in her mouth,
The texture of their pulp
Playing against her tongue—
During the weeks of summer
In the year the earth awoke,
Stretching and yawning,
Turning as if
To bring sunrises closer
And hold sunsets dear—
That summer the girl,
Holding beating hope,
Emerged from the cracks forming
In the left side
Of the woman’s chest.
Thus, the woman who lied
About holding onto hope,
Crumpled and died,
Shriveled like the over-ripened apricots
On the ground beneath the tree in your yard.
The girl, holding hope, emerged
Laughing with joy at all the smiling
Universe seemed for once to offer up
In the taste of apricot flesh
And the sweet juice that quenched thirst
After years of waiting want.
The earth tilted back, turning once again,
Withdrawing from sunrise and sunset.
Then the apricots were gone.
Picked, fallen to the ground,
Nibbled by birds and squirrels.
The girl, who held hope,
Shrank down, curling into a fetal position,
Within the dead woman who lied
About having hope and who
Was now revived, resuscitated,
Like a cannibal feeding off a beaten enemy
Of faith, of pain, of living hope,
By the now shrunken head like girl,
Who had held beating hope
That could beat no longer
As the revived woman remembered
The taste, the feel of the flesh of fresh apricots.
I am unsure how this happened,
but the stone grew, encasing me,
protective and cold, a walking grave
of comfort for many years.
Now, having grown moss over
the passing of so many seasons and
used to the weight of stone I carry
into the calm of night,
blossoms burst forth from this tonnage
of comforting cold stone,
this grave of a home I have known.
I would like to twist,
turn away from
yet find I cannot.
I cannot gather dust to me,
creating stone again.
Cannot piece shards together
for there are not enough left
in this remaining dust.
As I rest in this place,
I will tuck these blooms away--
Until they bear ripened fruit,
Readied for picking.
that they may only be
Days of summer
Are so few numbered.
Golden days filled with heat,
Traveling into warm nights
A favorite season.
This July begins,
With no need to seek life at its cradle
A new journey starts.
It is time to put away,
Rid and purge,
Box up junk,
Hold the garage sale,
Donate what’s not needed,
End a chapter,
Turn the page.
Reach, stretching toward loving hands,
In that place of life and peace
Where morning is heralded in birdsong,
Written in silly verses of the cardinal, the tufted titmouse,
The mockingbird, and finches–
All who do battle with cute well fed bushy tailed vermin
Attempting to steal away all the seed,
I wake each morning beside beauty beyond any,
Any I have ever known,
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