Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Lemon Passion


I’ve had a liking
for lemons, except
when they’re cars,
ever since we moved
here and found a lemon tree
in our yard.
On cool days in autumn
I serve lemon with tea
from an old samovar
on a table beside
a mahogany armoire
I keep polished with
lemon-scented oil,
as my husband’s mother did
before me.
He and I, drinking tea,
sometimes eat cookies
made with last summer’s crop
from our once frozen,
now revived, lemon tree,
a smooth, translucent,
buttercup-colored custard
in butter-flavored crust.

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
in the middle of the afternoon,
when it’s too late for tea,

pale gold lemon curd from a
glass jam jar,
heavy as a paperweight,
that belonged to my grandmother.
I relish the tart, sweet
taste on my tongue.
We both do,
as we share spoonfuls.

Tennis-tea, half lemonade
and half tea, saves me
on sweltering summer days,
when lost in a mystery,
or thoughts of this morning,
I seem to assume the contents
of our cupboard will fold
into a dinner that’s easy.
I’d rather lie about than cook,
drinking tea-with-lemonade in the shade.

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