My father planted 5 apple trees,
3 pear,
2 peach,
2 cherry,
a grape vine that
wrapped the fence—
and 1 plum tree
that blew over crooked
in the wind
and stayed hunched over
in old age
until it bore no more fruit
and I chopped it down
to save my old man the trouble.

My father planted 13 fruit trees,
the largest garden outside a farm—
and the produce
was often stuffed by worms and
crawling in earwigs.
He put his wife and children to work
cutting up the fruit
he brought inside within bushel barrels—
and I think we all resented him for it.
Not the pesticide free fruit—
or even the Saturdays spent chopping—
but when the spiders
crawled into bed with you.

written on 03/19/2011 by: Matt Kane