Citrus Gardens in the Winter

An up-close photo of pile of three lemons

Do the swings dangle empty in the wintertime
bereft of the hands which grasped the twine
that snaked past the trunk into truncated vines
united with the trees?

Do the citrus trees feel barren and bland
bereft of their leaves, of their beads, of the hands
of the children who plucked at those saccharine glands
for oranges, fresh and complete?

Now I roam these aisles of haphazard smiles
with barely branched fractals and streams
for citrus would sprout from my mouth as a child
now I’m coming apart at the seams.

But the trees lie in wait, their hope still persists
it dances, exalting the skies
for their qualms will be calmed with a delicate palm
plucking oranges come next July
And so will I.

Writer’s statement: Inspired by childhood memories of picking oranges, the orange tree is a metaphor for different life experiences. During certain times, life can feel barren and desolate. Eventually, though, beauty and joy will persevere and blossom again.

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