You stand on the top ring of a medium

ladder dressed in a large fishing hat  to

distract you from the humidity and heat

of the falling sun that you still squint from

stretching your arm as

high as it can to reach the bottom

layer of dates hanging

from a seventeen year old tree

selecting carefully the ones you know

mom likes best,

the ones tinged a red brown beige

half-hard half-soft that are

-sweet- but with a crunch.

You take enough to fill a plate

and say

“we’ll leave the rest for the birds”

The bright green and red

rose ringed parakeets

hopping restlessly on a nearby post,

and the crested larks watching shyly

from a corner

appreciate this.


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