La brucatura – Stephanie Feeney

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



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