across the street
from 327 birmingham avenue
there was a small forest
people referred to it as “the woods”


when my father wasn’t tired from
working in the mill
he would finish his cigarette
and look me in the eye
“want to go pick some fruit?”
we would slide
down the
path
that
disappeared into the woods
stand in a clearing and look for fruit
i started to climb up a tall pear tree
“don’t waste your time,
the leaves on that one are curling”
thirty secands later
pappy was shmmying up a very wide trunk
soon the pears came bouncing
down and i was scurrying in every direction
the pears looked perfectly ripe
turning yellow just before falling
my sack was almost full
my father came sliding down
smiling and pleased with his find
i climbed the next tree
i could hear pappy jumping in the leaves
soon he yelled loudly
“we have enough for two pies.”
i jumped down to a low limb
and landed in the weeds.
we picked out two juicey pears
and sat in the shade
we bit into their sweetness
the juice ran down our arms
this was almost as good as baseball