Outside, the peaches hang heavy in the wind,
their fresh skin, sunsets of color.
Until the fruit rots in piles on the lawn.
After the winter we had
I was sure the tree was dead.
And I was enraged at the infertility of the world.
But this spring, buds split from the skeletal branches.
A thousand innocent questions.
Like they didn’t even know
The life they consume.
I was enraged at the imbalance of fertility in the world.
Peach trees are deciduous.
Hiding from the cancer of snow
But they revive, a Lazarus of fruit
Their blooms sweeter for their pain
Last year, when the peaches hung in passels over the grass
I baked and canned and sauced
Sat on the porch and pressed
little moons of nail marks into the skin
I pushed my fingers through the flesh
To the heart of each
And piled the stones like a cairn on the top stair.
Peach cobbler, peach tarts, peach jam and chutney.
Peach curry sauce for porkchops.
Peach schnapps for the late fall evenings.
By then, you wouldn’t eat anything I cooked.
But I kept the house smelling like the living.
I kept the oven running so you wouldn’t feel the draft of autumn.
There were crates of peaches
sitting on the porch
Rotting faster than I could save them.
I was enraged at the waste in the world.
Your eyes followed me in the kitchen.
The language of disapproval.
Come sit with me, you’d say.
Just as the timer stopped,
I’d run to the oven,
Stand a moment too long in the heat of its open door
Wishing that intimacy didn’t make me uncomfortable
That I had more time to learn how to love the right way
To not be enraged at the barrenness of the world.