Church and Plums
Soon it’ll be plum season again.
Cherry blossoms and stone fruit,
the season of flavors warm as biscuits
and gravy, Jack and ginger with crushed
ice on a steamy Saturday night
before absolution come Sunday.
The choir sensual as angels.
The night before, the lusty soprano
sat next to you—her murder-red lips,
hand on your thigh, a room booked
upstairs and a babysitter until
five Hail Mary’s
and do it again next week.
Stone fruit memories, like light
purpling unwashed glasses
when you finally come downstairs,
mama and pawpaw still sleeping it off
and the sky blooms with morning sounds.
You light the kettle, fish out the steel broom
from under the sink and scrape the grill stupid—
you want them plums and peaches
sweet as aunt Lizzy before you knew
she was your aunt.
Older than you, she tasted
the way colors look—jacaranda cluttered
on the back porch and every wildflower
you could see till the hill blurred
your line of sight. That summer…
more than five Hail Mary’s needed for that.
A slight digression, then back to plum season.
Fresh from the orchard and the Farmer’s market,
grilled for dessert with easy contentment
as late-day light begins to give way to dusk.
Easy laughter comes from the kitchen.
No Hail Mary’s needed this season.
Tobi Alfier is a multiple Pushcart nominee and multiple Best of the Net nominee. “Slices of Alice & Other Character Studies” was published by Cholla Needles Press. “Symmetry: earth and sky” was just published by Main Street Rag. She is co-editor of San Pedro River Review (www.bluehorsepress.com).