Did Sisyphus ever imagine the toil
of carrying orange trees up this slope
each season, their roots heavy
with water, leaves delicate in such a
foreign clime? Forty-six varietals
of trees, their citrus dangling unpicked,
propped here in pots upon the lawn.
At night, the imported fruit rains down
on my bedroom roof, volleys of the tree’s
ripened artillery. I think of wrapping
my arms around that tree and shaking it
until the last fruit falls, or simply
lifting it from the soil, placing it
a little further away, the silence that would follow.
Erika Luckert is a poet, writer, and educator. Her work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, CALYX, Room Magazine, Tampa Review, F(r)iction, Atticus Review, Boston Review, and elsewhere. A graduate of Columbia University’s MFA in Poetry, Erika has taught creative and critical writing at public schools and colleges across New York City. In 2017, she was awarded the 92Y Discovery Poetry Prize. Originally from Edmonton, Canada, Erika is currently a PhD student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.