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Rural in Summer
by Star Coulbrooke

Because the garden is ON.
Fruit trees are laden, ripe.
You pick cherries after work,
after dinner dishes are washed,
so you can pit them one by one,
little juicy morsels, a pan
filling as the clocks tick, pits
mounting in the colander.
Cook the sourness out with sugar
and a tablespoon of cornstarch.
Yes, it's late, but treat yourself:
Pour the tart sweet sauce
on chunks of angel food
and top with light whipped cream.
A little snack before clean-up,
then wash-up again, get ready
for a mere six hours of sleep
because in the first light
of a brand new morning, the peas
must be picked, must be shelled
before work. Rhubarb must be
harvested. After the long day
at the office, where the money's
made, you must stop by the store
for items you've kept listing, never
time to shop. Pick up the most
important, drive home. Fruits
must be bottled, vegetables eaten,
weeds wrestled out of the flowers.
Dogs fed. Sprinklers turned on.
Sleep is critical to your busy days,
for the way you run. But it can wait.
Fruit is ripe, time is right. Keep on.


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