Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
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Marcella Polain

Bird, lemons

The house next door will not stop weeping.
Fat lemons rot on the tree. Cats stalk and leap in the grass.
You would fall down laughing at their spring up the wall, their inane eyes,
their mouths full of legs like grey furry fangs.

The day we moved was just ten days after you, and I
stared at a neighbour in his baggy grey shorts. Beside him, a
woman studied the ground. Slowly I raised both open hands and
he blinked at me as if he knew.
Every morning that summer we opened our eyes and couldn’t believe it.
Each dusk, we saw him shift his sprinklers, heard him mutter, Where’s that baby gone?
Then, in autumn a car door opened and swallowed them whole.

Come back, Bird, I keep making jam.
You could have traded them a jar for lemons.
You could have promised them a soft sweet pie.
Listen, Bird, it’s spring again.
Now, suits and clipboards sometimes chatter on their porch.
Peach trees riot between the fence and our back steps.
Daylight is golden as egg yolk, and
bees staggeringly drunk.