Second Bearing 1919

I have asked him to tell it—how
he heard the curing barn took hours

to burn, the logs thick, accustomed
to heat—how, even when it was clear all

was lost, the barn and the tobacco
fields within it, they threw water

instead on the nearby peach tree,
intent on saving something, sure,

though, the heat had killed it, the bark
charred black. But in late fall, the tree

broke into bloom, perhaps having
misunderstood the fire to be

some brief, backward winter. Blossoms
whitened, opened. Peaches appeared

against the season—an answer,
an argument. Word carried. People

claimed the fruit was sweeter for being
out of time. They rode miles to see it.

He remembers my grandfather
saying, his mouth full, this is

a sign, and the one my father
was given to eat—the down the same,

soft as any other, inside
the color of cream, juice clear

as water, but wait, wait; he holds
his cupped hand up as though for me

to see again there is no seed,
no pit to come to—that it is

infertile, and endless somehow.

by Claudia Emerson

Other poems of EMERSON (45)

Comments (9)

Goodness gracious, can you ever write a touching poem....This is so sad yet so beautiful and written with so much love...Your words in this poem have an 'Angels Touch! '~~~~~~~~~marci. :)
Oh my goodness, what an amazing poem! WOW! ! I must read more of your work, keep writing for us! Marilyn
Wow. My hat goes off to you. Love It. - Jill
I have chills...... wonderfully sensitive writing. Beautiful, just beautiful. How good you are!
that made me cry but it made me feel better so it was a good cry
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