Kelly Flowers

writer

Poem: Peaches

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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.

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