“Fruits from My Hand” by Emily Patterson

On the wood floor you play
with a set of wooden fruits:

wedge of watermelon, pear
perfectly sized to your palm,

and your favorite, the bright
lemon that rolls in a spiral.

You screech as it curls
just beyond your reach,

and I delight in how simply
I can offer what you seek.

Taking the fruits from my hand,
you fling them to the floor again

and again—purposefully
not looking at me, until

I begin to see: It’s you
who will choose how

to move through this
world, into yourself.

Emily Patterson is a curriculum designer, poet, and mother in Columbus, Ohio. She holds a B.A. in English from Ohio Wesleyan University, where she was awarded the Marie Drennan Prize for Poetry and F.L. Hunt Prize for Most Promising Creative Writer. She received her MA in Education from Ohio State University. Emily’s work has been published or is forthcoming in Literary Mama, Mothers Always Write, Thimble Literary Magazine, Quillkeepers Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Sunlight Press, The Magnolia Review, and elsewhere.

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