understanding lemons

by Rg Gregory

lemons don’t let you admire yourself too much
they stick from their tree like awkward thoughts
demanding a truth be told even if the tongue
would prefer a far more sickly explanation

lemons are perfect though for the need to jump
straight out of bed on the eagerest of mornings
into the task that must have no nonsense about it
they have no truck with laziness or the idle hope

they can be easily misunderstood; their sourness
their association in sayings with the poorest of the lot
their way of squirting you in the eye when being cut
they don’t have much emollience in their nature

you can’t get that close to lemons; they stand firm
in their separate place asking to be respected; then
they will give what they’ve got like waxed nurses
offer you their own prim recipes for a healthy life

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