“The Peach” by Martin Willitts, Jr.

On early October mornings, we’d slice peaches
into hot oatmeal while sparrows sang.
We’d forgotten that sudden attack of sweetness—
time and memory deceive like that.
Then, the next day, peaches jumped from a knife
to oatmeal, surprising us again—
slight moisture of fall, a dip in bird songs.

We would try to hold the hard pit of memory,
but, like bath water, memory slowly drained.
We would go on with everyday tasks,
the season pulling the curtains of night closer,
but in morning, peaches were in oatmeal,
birds excitedly exclaiming, memory bruising.

As October loomed towards November,
peaches were less fresh, still savored,
slices falling like autumn leaves.
Imagine the happy bowl
cupped hands offering sweetened memories.
Imagine sparrows dashing sugary music.

Then, alas, the time had unfortunately arrived,
and the peaches went wherever peaches go.
We mourned the loss, watched grey skies fall,
nights lasting and lingering longer.

We’d forgotten each season has its own sweetness.

Martin Willitts Jr, a Comstock Review editor, has 25 chapbooks including the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award, The Wire Fence Holding Back the World (Flowstone Press, 2017), plus 21 full-length collections including the Blue Light Award 2019, The Temporary World.  His forthcoming book is Harvest Time (Deerbrook Press, 2021).