Verjuice

The land near our house always reminds me of graham cracker crust: it stays together long enough to do what it’s meant to, but the minute you apply any pressure it crumbles, sweet and forgiving. We’ve planted olives and raised grapes on that land, and Dad tends goats and sheep. The houses thin out in our neighborhood and there’s space to roam. Our closest neighbors, the Michel family, have two little boys and a messy orchard, neglected–the boys and the trees–more out of disinterest than of malice. From our back yard we can watch the trees blossom and bear ugly gnarled fruit that drop to the ground and return to the crust like some organic pie, the sharp odor of the verjuice hanging in the air. The land, the trees, the gardens, we all bake in the afternoon sun, and these days I’m glad I’m spending less time at home. When we were little we would help Dad with the animals, going out into hills in the evenings to fetch them and drive them back to their pens in the long barns a few miles from our house. Dad started keeping the animals out there instead of on our land because our mother sleeps poorly and the baying and pawing made her worry.

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2 Comments

  1. a beautiful description of the land like crust..
    we all bake..
    ..making an extended metaphor

    Reply
  2. Thanks, Patrick. 🙂

    Reply

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