Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Lemon Passion (old)


I have a liking
for lemons, except
when they’re cars,
ever since we moved
here, discovered a tree
in our yard.
On cool days in autumn
I serve lemon with tea
from an old samovar
that resides on a table beside
an inherited, mahogany armoire
I keep glowing with
scented lemon oil,
like my mother-in-law
before me.
Her son and I, drinking tea,
often eat cookies
made with last summer’s crop,
a smooth, translucent, buttercup custard
in butter-flavored crust, the lemons
from our revived lemon tree.
I missed them when it froze.

Like scarlet bougainvillea,
lemon trees can seem dead,
after a freeze, for a year
or two, then surprise
you by showing life anew.

When my weight gets too low
sometimes I spoon
pale gold lemon curd from a
heavy glass jam jar
of my grandmother’s,
in the middle of the afternoon,
when it’s too late for tea,
relish the tart sweet
taste on my tongue.

Tennis-tea, half lemonade
and half tea, helps me through
sweltering summer days,
days when I just want to laze
in shade and hope the contents
of my cupboard will fold
into a dinner that’s easy.

Lots of things are lemon-scented
in my yard: verbena, thyme, and balm
which creeps under the yard,
popping up annoyingly, like
in the midst of chamomile.
Lemon balm is not a total lemon though --
it makes a tasty tea.

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