on the tart leavings of our stooped
pair of trees. They weren’t tall enough
for shade or to do anything but
drop miserly fruit. Still, the black
bears came and took what was offered.
Now the sow pushes her cubs
up the trunk for the juicy red ones.
The bold will risk the thinnest
branch to reach the sweetest.
It’s what she’s waited for
all winter through spring.
In summer the harvest came just within grasp.
Now that cooler shadows
fall, the grass is littered with her leftovers
mulching slowly into the soil.
A year ago it was enough to have
two crooked trees in a yard
because it’s our yard.
Next year, if there’s not
you and I will pick the best the branches
are willing to grant. The promise
ripens just before the frost.