George Crabbe Poetry Competition 2023 – 3rd Prize
Adjudicator: Tamar Yoseloff
Each night, he packs away the ladder, bucket, rake, but leaves the nets. They make a skirt that girds the whole of Tuscany. Each day, I take you to see the thing that mothers and babies and farmers see — the sun before it rises. You scrabble in the pastel dust, staining your mouth, fingers, clothes, toes with the juice of fallen olives. He catches us one morning. Smiles. Lets you play at taking olives in and out of his bucket. We hang close like dogs, hungry every morning to watch him comb the fruit from the trees, fearing, like dogs do, his going, which happens, of course, when the harvest is done – a poor one, he says. It looked so rich to us.
Copyright © 2023 Stephanie Feeney