Growing Up


September 23, 2020 by The Citron Review

by Michele Reese


When paring oranges,
my mother used to turn the rind
into a snake.

She would stand at the sink
twist the knife around the fruit
create a toy for me

to play with
while eating the sections
bursting with juice.

I did not fear these snakes,
which over time
would become brittle and break

I did learn to insert my own finger
under the skin, peel neatly,
drop the pieces into the disposal,

fill the kitchen with the scent of a grove.


Michele Reese is the author of the poetry collection Following Phia. Her poems have also been published in several journals and anthologies including Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, The Oklahoma Review, Poetry Midwest, The Paris Review, The Tulane Review, Chemistry of Color: Cave Canem South Poets Responding to Art, Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race, and Home is Where: An Anthology of African American Poets from the Carolinas. She is currently a Professor of English at the University of South Carolina Sumter.


One thought on “Growing Up

  1. Julie A. Dickson says:

    Very visual piece as well as having the tartness of orange peel present on my tongueโ€ฆ

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