He’s kissing a girl who’s been packing peaches, elbow-deep in fuzz. She’s damp with sweat and has tired breath — it’s hot and the hours are long. In the house, the old farmer almost sleeps through lunch. His wife watches through the window — she knows the boy — but of course it’s his parents she really knows. And anyway, it’s not her daughter, the pretty girl from town, just someone who goes to the same church, if and when she does. A good girl, though. Not a troubled soul. She seems to trust the boy. Sits on his lap a minute. Smiles. No matter how hot it is today, there’s no way he’d leave without that kiss. They eat their sandwiches. Another kiss — it goes on like this — and then he gets back into his dusty pickup, starts the engine, and waves good-bye. He works at a big farm nearby. He’ll be old like us someday. She’ll be a grandma. Is there a better way? Well, he’s gone. I think I’ll go back out and talk to her. Tell her she’s still too young to be a mom. I know I was. And yet not a bit of it was wrong. All was good. On second thought, I’ll talk about peaches. The heat. About love? Yes. Why not?
Mirage in the long straight road — a chair on the porch at the old folks’ home.
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Categories: New Poems & Pieces