The Harvesting of San Jose

Throughout the valley,

   creek and reservoir 

           feed into the orchards of 

 apricots, plums, prunes, cherries,  strawberries,

                                           where they grow in my mind.  

The half closed eyes of my memory, 


these faint figures of men, of women, of children

rebounding from one season into the next harvest,

                                 resting against the bluing sky.

Like the leaves, facing the sunshine,

reaching through the limbs and branches,

their hands chatter, tenderly removing

             with their fingers

                          the first fruits to the last pick.

The old days, the lost days, 

lean against the fireplace in the sky over the valley:

   a sun-start morning of every memory turns over at night,

        yet still. the toasting of my skin, 


Falling to the ground more than once, I harvest:

    smelling injustice and its heavy load in every bucket and basket, 

        then, however, softly I walk on the earth,

              the orchards stand against the night of my memory

                               again and again. 

                                   more figures of men, women and children 

                                                         return to claim their hands in the orchards.