Diane Cockburn

Bitter Lemons

He carries three lemons in his pack.
The last things his wife touched
before he set off on his journey,
the last things she picked from the tree
in their courtyard.
One wizened, blackened at the edge,
one small and stunted,
one the perfect lemon
full of Syrian sunshine.
‘For the seasickness’, she said,
as she picked them
as he packed them.
Little pieces of her life and his life,
when there was a life
when there was a lemon tree
when there was a courtyard.
These lemons will restore him.
‘For the seasickness’, she said.

For the heartsickness.



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