Tangerine Man

Brandi-Ann Tanaka
San Jose, California

Tangerine Man

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.