San Jose, California
The cutting smell of a tangerine
Peeled by the dirty hands of a father
Who has little but his daughter
As she reaches for the tiny jewel
She looks up and sees everything
Where he sees nothing but shame
In a piece of bright orange fruit
Sitting under the heavens of an elm tree
Shades more than their bodies
From the intense heat around
But the stories that we hide
And hang out like ill kept laundered clothing
Flying in the unforgiving sun
Looks clean, looks like the white picket fence
The home in the Hamptons, the story book, fairy tale childhood life
The one that we tell ourselves
Makes a worthy life and yet cuts like a knife
That everyone wants
But no one owns.
Who doesn't want that life?
Who doesn't want that story?
But instead, he hides and
When she gets older she learns to reveal
Only what she thinks but not what she feels
To cover his shame, to protect his truth
She hides under the safety of a sable colored suit
A businesswoman one day who does not know her name
But walks and shudders, from internal blame
And a reminder only
When she walks and smells
The cutting sharp tart
Of that darn orange fruit.