|Chagrin River Review||
We Pick Pomegranates in the Early Day
We pick pomegranates in the early day,
canvas sleeves over our arms and snapped
into place on our gloved hands
that part the orbed branches. The fruit,
sometimes split, an annual feast of pith
and arils. Telltale lacewings keep the thrips
from moving in, from sucking out
what we will press after the haul.
You call from around the tree, say my name
in the same cadence remarking how easily the harvest plucks.
We’re new to the task –
How small can we go? do we toss the cracked
globes? do we prune while we’re at it?
We trundle down the rows of tangled green and red,
faces scratched from the backswing of branches
pulled down breast high for the pick.
Time reconfigures herself, orb by orb,
washing, halving, recording, pressing
till the red juices scatter, grow from a hundred
repetitions six times over to where
you are orb, I am juice
in the press.
Glady Ruiz tangles with an inherited dozen rosebushes that pay no heed to a poetry MFA; she recently relocated to a country home from where she commutes to her day job teaching high school science.