Then and Now
…we’re beginning,/each one beginning
In the Eden of imagination, it is early evening…
insects wheeze and buzz, glad for the cool,
and a barefoot woman in a soft cotton dress
walks lightly on damp grass. She’s in an orchard,
and her hand reaches for the reddest apple.
Its sweet juice and crunch explode joy in her mouth.
There is no taste like this and no punishment,
for it is all happening now and the orchard is real,
planted on a vacant, city lot in the middle
of our country by a woman named Countryman.
It is a kind of Eden, where anyone can walk,
pick pears, figs, apples, peaches, berries too,
in their season—all free—and why not? asked
poet Ross Gay, who joined this good work,
while in other cities, communities are finding
abandoned parks, forgotten school yards and, yes,
they are planting orchards with the knowledge
we were born to….knowledge we can eat.
Patricia Gray (Washington, DC) writes fiction and poetry and teaches Creative Writing at The Writer's Center's downtown campus in Washington, DC. Her poetry collection, Rupture, was published by Red Hen Press.
These poems were recognized at the 2019 WFD Poetry Competition