Liz Robbins St. Augustine (Lauren Tivey)
Wild Sweet Orange
Now in middle age, my haymaking comes
in tiny pouches, often tea, wild sweet orange.
Why do we unequivocally worship youth?
My friends and I say, you couldn’t pay me to
go back, as though our teen years (our dewy
skin, our sinewy lines) were a steamy hostel
in a foreign country, a frat party where we
were rarely sober. Hallelujah, here we are,
having clearly—if barely—escaped.
Now the desk lamp flickers like a downtown
club’s strobe at midnight, and the purpose
we’ve always known clarifies: our offspring
will be fine, if we tell them our stories.
If we wait for the tea to brew. We give them
what we carry, bagged and packed, and in
their hands, it turns to tartness and light.