It’s August in Jersey, the peaches in A&P are
piled sky high in a pyramid and I have to laugh
when I see the boxes, me and the fruit are from
the same hometown and I’m reminded of summer
driving down Fayette Street, past old fairgrounds
onto Cubby Hollow Road into the flattest part of
the state where you’re surrounded by orchards.
Past Trench Road, I’m tempted like Adam and Eve in
the story from Mrs. Garrison’s Sunday School class.
I pull my little green Mustang over to the shoulder,
take a few steps towards the sagging branches and
know that the fruit will never taste better than this,
the second week in August. Lucky for me, there’s
no sign of workers, all I hear is a bobwhite’s call.
Suddenly an angry man descends a wooden ladder
propped against a tree twenty yards off the road.
I don’t know what he’s yelling, I’m guilty, I run away
fearing an axe handle, a shot gun, or the biting dogs.
If you ever think about helping yourself on some back
road, remember it always seems like no one’s there
in the trees, but they’re working and watching you.