The scent from apple orchards

Mare Leonard

lingered even when cheap ranches cropped up like weeds.

In one attached garage, a dark carless cave,

the boy Steve Jobs tinkered with gizmos, gadgets

wires and whatnots.

Decades later, techies bulldozed

the humdrum, paid millions for land to construct

castles with turrets toppling

on postage stamp plots, flush to curbs, locked.

From my Airbnb I ignore the castles, fall in love

with bougainvillea buddying up to lilacs,

with pines married to palms and wheel my grandchild

in pristine air, hypnotized

by the Valley's soup of Peets, Starbucks, orange trees,

bocce courts, communal gardens,

folks smiling, hello hi hello on paths in the parks.

At Sammy's Cafe, a biker swings his phone,

shouts, California should secede.

Is this a possibility? If so, I will steal some cardboard

from Target's discards, build

a shack under Highway 85, repeat, knit one, purl two

sing with the click clack,

spin lilac scarves, apple red teapot cozies,

whatnots for the uber rich.


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Mare Leonard lives in an old school house overlooking The Rondout Creek. Away from her own personal blackboard, she teaches through the Institute for Writing and Thinking and the MAT program at Bard College. She has published four chapbooks of poetry and a new one, The Dark Inside the Hooded Coat is available at Finishing Line Press. (One of her poems, published in A Pickled Body, was recently nominated for a pushcart).

Abby Michelini