Orange / kim aubrey

I’m a toddler in my favourite photo-morning
sun splashes fair flying hair, I lean forward
into camera’s eye, face a squinting grin, hold
a fresh-picked orange in both hands as if it forms
the center of my body and I will never
let it go, as if its weight
is what allows me to stand without toppling.

Can’t find hands under fruit’s bulk but can smell
citrus tang of bumpy skin,  taste salt in island’s
smooth, moist air. Behind me, leaves of fruit trees
weave a textured ground of light and shade.
My clothes paint a different pattern-bright
top, dark overalls, straps crossed twice-once
in front, once behind-so not to slip off slight
shoulders. Pants bag out as if wind might fill them
a fluttering force tugging me from side to side
world tossing.

Tousled crabgrass resists the soles of stiff
new shoes. Knees bend a little to steady me
or in readiness to run. Any second I might teeter
towards mother who holds the camera, or away
into the shade propelled by my orange heart,
but in this instant I am thrilled to stay,
still, to hold in sticky hands the sweet taste
of it all.

•••

Kim Aubrey is a Bermudian writer living in Canada. Her story collection, What We Hold In Our Hands, is forthcoming with Demeter Press, November, 2013. Kim is Associate Editor and  Nonfiction Editor for Grain Magazine, an editor for Red Claw Press, and Director of Writers’ Workshop in Bermuda.

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