Fruits of Labor | Teen Ink

Fruits of Labor MAG

March 23, 2015
By AvaJay GOLD, Spokane, Washington
AvaJay GOLD, Spokane, Washington
13 articles 4 photos 184 comments

Favorite Quote:
Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not pray for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.
~ Tagore

Cherries don’t just happen, you know.
No stork traverses the sky overnight
with a lumpy, sweet-smelling bundle
to bless the doorstep of your local grocer.

Although you’re content with imaginings
of the sun-blushed bulbs of sweetness
magically manifesting on supermarket shelves,
materializing without any effort or sweat,

the unpopular, unuttered truth remains:
it took more sweat than it did sunshine
to get those crimson, fleshy marbles
to your plastic shopping basket.

Two-hundred twenty-four times this season
in one hundred seven degrees Fahrenheit,
I filled my scratched and sun-bleached bucket
with those sun-softened, sweet-and-sour drupes,

ascending and descending twenty-foot aluminum ladders
a harness stretched over my shoulders and across my back,
securing the battered and sticky container at my stomach
like a pregnant belly overflowing with pit-filled children.

Maria, Josephina, and Regina cracked their strained spines,
shuffled sore feet, stumbled with dizzying dehydration,
and fingered their slowly swelling plastic tummies,
joking without laughter of pregnancy all over again.

Your supermarket’s sweet summer fruits didn’t just happen:
some girl in some orchard suffered pregnancy all season
slowly filling and learning to yearn for each impending delivery
when she could release the fruits of her labor and start again.

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