you should never pay

for lemons
in California

his proclamation
plays in my head now
every time I see a tree

along with the story
of asking a neighbor
for figs
– the tree was behind the fence –
he only wanted a few
she said she was going to use them all
he saw them fallen on the ground
bitterness in his voice
like it was yesterday

here, at the house on the corner
the woman leaves the
persimmons on the tree
for the birds
she says


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