Author’s Note: “When my son was three, we’d walk around the neighborhood, on the way to a park, running errands, or sometimes just to have something to do. During these little adventures, he’d often pick up a twig and insist on stopping at each tree to tap the bark around the trunk. He called this ‘nectarine-ing.’ We couldn’t move on until he was done giving each the little care it needed.”
It’s good to not know what you’re doing,
a reminder you’re just visiting from somewhere.
When my 3-year-old says he’s nectarine-ing
the oak, don’t ask how nectarines figure in.
Let him delight in picking the perfect twig.
Follow as he rounds the trunk tapping its bark.
You’re visiting from somewhere you can’t describe,
why rush to the next place, then the next?
Stop and let the tree need this from him
like the bloom needs the bee’s casual brush.
Good to know the fruit, but not the tree.
Let nectarine pass through the dictionary of air.
Jason Gebhardt’s poems have appeared in many journals, including the The Southern Review, Poet Lore, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Iron Horse Literary Review. His chapbook Good Housekeeping won the 2016 Cathy Smith Bowers Prize. He lives in Washington, DC and is the recipient of multiple Artist Fellowships awarded by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Delmarva Review is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, independent literary journal publishing the best of new prose and poetry selected from thousands of submissions. Partial financial support comes from individual contributions and a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. The review is available worldwide from Amazon.com and other major online booksellers, and from specialty regional booksellers like Mystery Loves Company, in Oxford. For more information, please see the website: www.DelmarvaReview.org.
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