Plums turn from red to purple,
the tree behind a fence. On the earth,
fruit rots. The leaves are dark
and when I stand beneath, I cannot see
the sky. Jam is made for the winter,
stored in glass jars.
Some plums are bitter, the skin tough,
like the bars of the fence;
others are soft, melt on the tongue.
A ladder leans against the tree;
a father passes the fruit down
to his daughter. She puts it into a bucket.
You are sitting on the couch,
drinking an English Breakfast tea.
A shepherd brings his cows to grass;
bells clink around their necks,
abrupt, like the end of August,
the cool nights, the swallows last shrill
before they leave their nests.
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