Friday, August 28, 2015

HARVEST

Luscious peaches,
juicy, sweet peaches.
Fuzzy skin
slips off easily.
Juice-dripping peaches,
down fingers, then arms.
The smell of peaches,
like the smell of chocolate chip cookies
fresh from the oven,
like the smell of new mown lawn,
like the smell of talcum powder,
like the smell of memories.
Clean smells,
whirling love into your brain.




I ate the last of our peaches yesterday. We had an even dozen. We were lucky. We picked them right after we found the remains of one peach on top of the dead tree stump in our backyard. A squirrel had used the stump as a dining table to feast on one peach. That's all he got. We knew the peaches were ripe then and plucked the rest.

Peaches, luscious peaches. Peaches are everything about summer. Even the skin reminds me of peeling off sunburned skin, so thin and fragile. We had peaches, even in this drought year when growers are having a hard time bringing in a crop. Our tree is placed in the right spot, full sun all day, enough to wilt the dogwood that the peach tree replaced, enough to dry up the vinca that used to bloom violet in the springtime. We planted the peach tree two years ago to replace other plants that had withered away.

We had peaches for the first time this year. We savored them even more than usual because of the drought.  We don't buy peaches because they never ripen. They never develop that heavenly scent of a peach cupped in your hand right off your own tree. The taste, like the taste of a just-picked tomato or a ripe ear of corn from the backyard, is like nothing we can find at the grocery or even at the farmers' market.

We don't grow much produce in our yard anymore. Too much shade, too many deer, too many squirrels and raccoons squandering their way through. They dangle from the branches to grab ripe fruit. They arch up on hind legs to reach perfect fruit before we can pick them. They peel the skins off the grapes we grow.

We've given up being farmers for the most part. What we have left are peaches, luscious peaches.

10 comments:

  1. Ah! I can taste the peach... Your peach tree was put in the ideal spot if it produced the second year. I tried a peach tree here in new England - with dismal results. On the other hand, rhubarb and raspberries love my garden. I love them!

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    1. Blackberries run wild in our neighborhood. I don't think rhubarb would do so well as it does back East. Thank you, Flo, for comments. I appreciate hearing from you!

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  2. Lucious portrait in color and poetry and your unique style!

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    1. Thanks, Jan. Comments from fellow writers mean a lot. I do love peaches!

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  3. A very peachy post! Thanks, Martha.

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    1. You made me chuckle, Elizabeth. I love to read your blog too!

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  4. Did you get my last comment- I am not sure it went through...

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  5. Hi Deborah, no, it didn't come through. Try again and thank you for reading!! Time for another trip to California?

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  6. Peaches are my most favorite fruit. I am so envious that you have your very own peach tree. Enjoy!!

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    1. They were lovely. Next time we'll share a peach pie!

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Thank you for commenting! I love hearing from readers, and I answer each one.