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Apples and Oranges
by M.J. Iuppa

Waking to darkness and senseless cold makes us
recoil on the edge of our beds until we make our leap
to swipe the snooze button on the radio—

the numbers flip to 5:12 a.m. on the red dial, and
we curse under our breath, the ungodly beauty
of our creased faces, hair stuck flat to our heads...

under the kitchen light, we meet: My daughter,
head-bent, snatches a green apple and bites—
tartness puckers her lips; she chews thoughtfully
her eyes open wide and wider—watching
me watch toast‐the slice she'll filch off my plate
and I'll be left with one, and a minute
to talk to her...
                                                           She disappears before
light fills the sky; and I'm in the doorway,
moving backwards in her steps to stand
again in the kitchen before the basket:

                                                           I pick
the orange, and peel open its bumpy-side;
let it blossom slowly.

First published in The Comstock Review, and appears in full
length collection Night Traveler (Foothills Publishing,2003)

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