The lemon is sour

from citric acid

in the sandy soil

the crowded branches

and the Mexican

that throws it into a

bushel basket

its face smashed into

those he got ripe with


The Mexican is sour

because he gets paid by the

bushel basket

and not the hour

his trailer is crowded

with the others

here for la pisca

already planning the trip to

North Carolina or Georgia

for the strawberries

until Christmas

when Ybor City calls them

to make cigars

paid by the box

Paul Smith writes poetry & fiction. He lives in Skokie, Illinois with his wife Flavia. Sometimes he performs poetry at an open mic in Chicago. He believes that brevity is the soul of something he read about once, and whatever that something is or was, it should be cut in half immediately.

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