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.