Esther’s Garden


I flick an orange seed off my finger
onto the spongy ground. Immediately
memory springs up, and I see my mother’s
orange trees arrayed in clay pots
on our back porch, grown from seeds
in that seedy place of dirt yards where
children played hide-and-seek, while up
above them, beyond their vision, a garden
grew. We carried that garden, pot by pot,
branches bent by new fruit, into the back
hall when frost threatened, but we never
ate the fruit of those trees, destroyed
as it was in a single night by a frost all
out of season that surprised as much as
the fruit itself and raised the threshold
of hope beyond our reach.

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