Kindra McDonald

Ripe

Don’t look up when it’s peach
season there are dangers in the dropping
of ripened fruit heavy on limbs
the new saplings struggle with their burden
train your eyes on the ground
to avoid bruised foreheads, a bloody nose
the falling fruit is weaponry
the children of the pickers fill the bottoms
of their too big shirts, scooping
an arsenal of fruit from the ground to lob over
the rows at one another, flying
falling fruit a satisfying plop the squirt of overripe
peach flesh the honeyed sunset pulp
the fuzz so reminiscent of your teenaged face caught
between boy and man this skin like suede
if the sky gifts you a peach you may be drunk on summer
beware of pits those stones crack teeth

Avgolemono

February, Ohio:
In an eternal depth
of seasonal depression, foggy
headed and sleepsick, mother
would rally
some Sunday mornings
to make soup for us.
The Greek egg and lemon soup
from her newlywed years when
as a 19 year old with a toddler
and a stomach full, a new child soon,
her neighbor who spoke very little
English, (other than the common
tongue of weary mothers), taught
her in a cramped kitchen the comfort
food of her family. All day the chicken
would boil, warming the house; the eggs
were broken one by one and beaten, sweet
discs of lemony sunlight cut and squeezed
into the mix. Even August sun was not that bright.
Slowly, the hot broth was stirred ladle by ladle
into the eggs. This was the careful part. She’d scoop
dry orzo into a margarine container—
an instant maraca for the baby, a distraction
while the broth and eggs slowly married but never curdled.
The fog in the house would lift, the broth become opaque
and thick. The day felt longer, the night shorter, the cold
tolerable. Then it was possible to hear a songbird returning home.

Visitation

Summers were mayonnaise
sandwiches warming in the sun
saltine crackers with a square
of neon orange cheese melted
in the microwave and topped
with a green olive plucked
from a martini glass—
pimento winking with gin
still strong pooling
in an oil slick of Velveeta
our cereal bobbed amongst lumps
of powdered milk that clung
to our tongues like Velcro—
fried bologna curled into a bowl
wobbled and popped in the pan
our hungry mouths open
and always on the edge
of broke

Author Portrait

Kindra McDonald received her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She teaches poetry at The Muse Writers Center and is an adjunct writing professor and doctoral student. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. She is the author of Concealed Weapons published by ELJ and Elements and Briars published by Red Bird Chapbooks. She lives in Norfolk, VA, with her husband and cats and she changes hobbies monthly.