Mr. Buchanan’s Peach Orchard

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Today I feel like that carefully selected peach.  The one picked for its promise, for its intention, for its springtime when its dense pulp prediction comes of age.  Hands coddle, gently squeeze, study its color palette, infer its density.  This is the One; I can hardly wait for its cotillion; the fuzzy skin taught like an umbrella tested by exuberant winds; at long last its flesh liquefies into sweet extract; itself a parity of perfection.  

Arriving at its destination, it is cautiously extracted from the tote and collides with a biting downpour, where it’s tossed from hand to hand like packing the first snowfall’s first snowball.  Flour-sacks turned drying-towels swaddled the tender pelt, familiar with its shallow depth and bias favoring lacerations, the freshly showered peach sustains a dozen instinctive pats then takes its place among the others.  And waits.  And waits.  And waits . . .

Some are gone, snatched like field mice from above.  Others suffered dismemberment; a knife tilled dry mortality then quit, flushing succulent hope into the dust bin.  The remainders eroded to the Italian-painted bottom and waited.  While waiting each of us, privately, felt the shock when its flesh gave-way; and the longer our wait the greater our deterioration.

Where did they go, we thought collapsing, the intoxicating eyes that radiated suggestive, wanton, and greedy fortunes?  Where are those fussy hands that arranged us in the Italian-painted bowl like fowl on a nest?  It was upon the scavenger fruit-flies arrival did we sense movement then the iciness of steel pushing us closer, some clinging then scraping then tumbling, airborne, as though I were that one fortunate seed that landed on that one fortunate acre that grew into one of many fortunate peach trees in Mr. Buchanan’s orchard.

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