Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Lemon Passion


Ever since we moved
here and found a lemon tree
in our yard,
I’ve had a liking
for lemons.
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 go dormant
after a freeze, for a year
or two, then surprise
you by growing anew.

When I get too thin,
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 was my grandmother’s.
I relish the tart, sweet
taste on my tongue.
We both do,
sharing spoonfuls.

Tennis-tea, half lemonade
and half tea, revives me
on sweltering summer days,
whether sipping my way through a mystery,
or thinking about that morning.
As white clouds turn pink,
we drink harmoniously
in lengthening shade, refreshed
by the cool glasses of tennis-tea
and the fragrance of new lemon blossoms.

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