Landis Everson

1926 - 2007 / California / United States

Lemon Tree

A tree that grew in the Garden of Eden
a tree of innocence called
the Tree of Good and Evil. It was harmless

as opposites are in balance. It was also
tasteless,
the taste of innocence before it is betrayed.
When God removed the wall

he gave the lemon thorns and bitterness because it had
no hostility.
It is a taste we want most to subdue. It asks
to be left alone.
We use it with fish and tea. We sugar it.

Look out the window. It stands with a donkey's
stance, hoping the day will pass.
Its scent through the curtains
cuts through
mustiness, sharp
with sweet blossoms. It hides the smell
of new babies.
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