Heirloom Fruit
Destiny O. Birdsong

The tangerines you brought me have gone bad.
One brown bulb leaks a ring of bitter syrup
on the crusted glass of the unused kitchen table. 
I should let them go, though some are good:
still holding to their orange: the navels tight, 
the pocked skin glossy—unyielding to the end.  
My mother says: never throw a good thing away,
but she once returned a borrowed Michael Kors purse
by lobbing it onto my sister’s manicured lawn,

only to come back the next morning, wiping down
the dew-sticky leather, blow-drying the silken lining
before slipping in her wallet and keys.

How she would scramble for these sunken-in globes,
nestle them in napkins, tuck them into the puckered bag.
So I drop them, one by one, into the trash.

first appeared in IthacaLit

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