Orange Orchards, by Marie Kilroy

Orange Orchards
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.

 

 

RWJ issue 4

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