by Marie Kilroy
At the far end of the East Coast,
miles from the metropolis of Miami,
hangs the southernmost part of Dade county.
I was often told to amuse myself
in the flat fields and orchards that surrounded us.
I would run through the rows
of orange trees behind our house,
weaving in and out like a needle through green cloth.
The fruit hung heavy on the branches:
sticky sweetness stirred into a perfume
with the breeze, mixing with the wet earth.
Memorizing my path I scanned
tops of trees making sure
the red tiled roofs weren’t out of sight.
I was raised in these tiny paths
dividing the line of land and tree.
This is where I could grow
on sticky nectar that dribbled
in tiny ripples through my
fingertips like candle wax.
It was the only place I could relax.
Those were long days, sun-filled,
before the mud-colored boxes lined the hall,
before our family crumbled,
before we moved far away
from those heat-filled fruit forests.
Marie Kilroy has been published in The Driftwood Review, Lummox Press, and Lines + Stars. She graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in English and lives in New York City.