The Unrequited Gift




Orange is the basis of communication
with the forgotten who still grow hair
from their ears or noses. It is a gift
traditionally given in a counterclockwise
and clockwise direction. When I enter
your home after many decades
of digging holes with pencils,
I will bear in one hand an orange,
and hold my other hand behind my back.
I will kneel and roll the orange to your feet.
When I stand and present my back to you,
you may tie my hands with necklaces
made from egg cowries or send me off
in a wooden canoe across the ocean
in search of sandpipers or an albatross.
I don’t expect interest in return
just an orange meal with many seeds in our teeth.




Photo By: Bernard Dupont


About Author

Tom Holmes is the editor of Redactions: Poetry, Poetics, & Prose and the author of seven collections of poetry, most recently The Cave, which won The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013 and will be released in 2014. His writings about wine, poetry book reviews, and poetry can be found at his blog, The Line Break .

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