Its trunk is on my side of the chain link fence, but its heavy branches poked above his grass as well. Last year I plucked bites of sunshine from among that gloss of green leaves. With good pruning I prepared for a few more tastes of paradise this year, but late March every blossom that dared the gray sky turned to tiny globes of ice like beads of Cloisonné. Redbuds and peach blossoms and Bradford pear flowers and limb and branch and twig turned to glamorous glitter before they fell down. He said I would have no peaches this year. I spaced the tiny green nobs anyway and sticky deformities grew on each blossom end. Yesterday I found one half-bruised fruit and saw another peachy-toned and high-up. I ate the good half, dropped the pit. My crops are usually miniscule anyway, but just a taste or two of something real keeps me out in the sun weeding, turning soil for hours. Soon I will taste ripe figs.
Carol Hamilton has upcoming and recent publications in Atlanta Review, New Laurel Review, Tribeca Poetry Review, Poet Lore, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Red River Review, Willow Review, San Pedro River Review, The Penmen Review, Aurorean, Colere, Presa, Nebo and others. She has published 16 books: children's novels, legends and poetry, most recently, Master of Theater: Peter the Great and Lexicography. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma. Her website is carolhamilton.org.