The kumquat tree you brought for me
from Florida, it likes the sun, you said,
so I found a place outside
where the sun hit hard
and marveled to see the kumquats grow.
My first fruit tree! They tasted great—
sour shock, but surprising
sweetness in the rind—
and every one I ate
was like something found
that I thought I’d never find.
Then winter came and I brought the tree inside,
but it didn’t do well, it had no smell.
I kept moving
looking for the spot. But then
I would forget:
it withered with neglect.
Leaves turned, dried out. Without
sun, the fruit refused.
Until I understood
and did what I could
to tend to it, with little aptitude
that grew from a fear of losing it
for something I never said.
Never said, but should have.
(To you, I mean). It almost died.
And if it had . . .
But spring came
and I placed it back outside
where even in the city, in this small garden,
marginalized by brick, the air is fresh,
a little raw, perhaps, as one might expect,
but where the sun returns,
I hope, this offering,
with fruit, friend, from within its potted field.