The day my mother dropped a net
of oranges on the kitchen table
and the net broke and the oranges
rolled and we snatched them,
my brother and I,
peeled back the skin and bit deep
to make the juice explode with our laughter,
and my father spun one orange in his palm
and said quietly, “This was Christmas, 1938,”
and he said it without bitterness or anger,
just observing his life
from far away, this tiny world
cupped in one palm,
I learned I had no way
to comprehend an orange.
Sean Lause in an English teacher in Lima, Ohio. His poems have appeared in The Minnesota Review, Another Chicago Magazine, The Alaska Quarterly, The Pedestal, Illuminations, European Judaism, The Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Sanskrit and Poetry International.
Poetry matters because it helps us imagine other worlds so we can learn to make this one our own.