I have an urge to preserve
today, boil the remaining fruits
to their sticky sugars, remove
the pits and seeds, smash flesh
add pectin and lemon juice, pour
and seal, save the savor
for another day less soaked
in light, when I cannot find
warmth in any crevice or window
when every creek runs cold.
I will have one jar left
labeled, sealed on a shelf
so I can break open and taste
stone fruit in August heat.
Poem Waiting at a Car Dealership While my Wife Buys her Dream Truck
Tom, our salesman, says he’s worked
here 46 years, grew up in Raleigh, NC
during the “Jim Crow’” South, watched
Black soldiers come home from Vietnam
who could not dine with their White comrades
brought take out containers to their shared car.
Tom says his White neighbors were nice
enough. Relatives were savage
though, would chase him and his brother.
He learned to hide and wait till the mean folks
left, then the parents would invite the boys
inside for peanut butter crackers.
What an American affliction to fall in love
with a truck or SUV, the allure of a home
on wheels, in a country full of roads, acquire
dignity on credit. Tom said some customers
ask for a few minutes with their trade-in vehicle
to say goodbye, sees them talking to the car
with tears in their eyes.
He says, you really never know
until you walk in someone’s shoes.
Or four wheeled dreams.
He had a minivan once with his wife.
They sold it wholesale,
but first they raised their kids
took vacations in that car
parked in their driveway
for a private place to talk.
They spent the whole night
before the car went to the new buyer,
reminiscing, hoping it ends up with a good owner.
Jessica Genia Simon began writing poetry at age seven. As a teenager based in Rockville, MD, she competed and won a spot on the Brave New Voices D.C. National Youth Poetry Slam Team. She earned a B.A. in English and Textual Studies and Policy Studies at Syracuse University and her M.S. in Education from University of Pennsylvania. She works at a gun violence prevention nonprofit in D.C. and lives with her wife, daughter, and orange tabby cat in Silver Spring, Maryland. Built of All I Shape and Name (Kelsay Books, 2023) is her first poetry collection.
Image: PatríciaR, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons