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184th Weekly Poetry Contest winner: The Orchard

by Che Sara Sara

Cold ravioli at midnight
as I argued politics with your mother.
A tumbler of red wine at noon
when your father urged me never
to give up on love.
At the farmhouse you grew up in,
I slept in your sister's bedroom
as if it were mine. I woke
to a swaying pattern of fig leaf shadows
on a yellowed window shade
and the voices of cherry pickers.

You took me out in the orchard,
deep enough so that all we could see
were rows of trunks under leaves,
a grid of trees picked clean in dry valley dirt.
Every place we stood was the center
of an X, infinite choices. I lost my sense
of direction, but you knew the way home
from bisque-fired tractor prints.

I'd go back if I could.
Not to the place, but the day
I was part of your family, overwhelmed
by possibilities, gorging on cherries.

First published in Southern Poetry Review
Included in the chapbook Scavenger Hunt

See all the entrants to 184th Weekly Poetry Contest