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Sleepy in the Shade by Eleanor Goodwin

Ripe by Bella Hart

- For Abigail

When we were young

dad's backyard was

a world of sweetly smooth grass

and strong glowing trees.

Bubbly sour oranges on our orange tree

became baseballs, weapons, and orange juice.

The shaggy shed was our playhouse, where we’d

swing on the frame until our fingertips turned white.

You climbed the zig-zagged branches of the tree

further then you had ever gone,

once. I watched as you gazed into the oil-painted sky

floating above tacky leather pieces of our neighbors' roofs.

When we woke to the whirling sound

of metal grinding against metal, we ran through the

back door. Dad stood in his clattering flip flops

sawing down our tree from the base.

Your eyes simmered in tears,

dripping down my pajama shirt.

In choked desolation I watched

as a dozen ripe oranges

fell from our heaven, splattering into the ground.

We still graze

past the stump of once was

and climb onto the weary roof of the shed

looking over the world we built.

We pick at the earthy rough tiles mounted onto

the rusty roof until there are bare spots across the top.

The shed has begun to rot too. And

our world, collapsing under our feet.

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