Oranges, the way my mother ate them.
Standing at the sink, eating the slices
one by one in rapid succession, in-between
chores, determined to get in her ration
of vitamin C. I didn’t offer to help her
with the chores, only sighed and did them
grudgingly when asked. Enamored by
the song, Suzanne, where Leonard Cohen
sang about the bewitching girl by the harbor
who fed him tea and oranges, I wanted my mother
to sit at the table, her orange slices on a china
plate, offer me one as we sipped Lapsang-souchong
from a delicate tea cup. I think of this as I eat
my slices of oranges over the kitchen sink, their
juicy brightness on my tongue, an efficient joy.
Oranges, before the tasks, now mine to do.