Green Hills Literary Lantern





Oranges, in five or more senses. In the memory,

late December days, fog winding gray wrappers

around the dark shape of the tree. You hoped

the frost would hold off. Small winter suns

glow out of the dark tree, but pick one and

the sugar's not there, pale flesh, a child still.


These winter children need nine months to grow.

Wax cream blossoms in early May, neroli scent a

swim in warm water, the excitement of castanets.

Early February, break the orange's skin, out of

oily fragrance bursts a July laugh. Uncanny,

such cool fruit offers such heat.


Round dark tree holding balls of light that

fit perfectly in the hand and feed the need for

food. Something to share. Break apart

the slices, one for each family member,

sit together sucking something sweet.






Grace Marie Grafton’s most recent book, Jester, was published in 2013 by Hip Pocket Press. She is the author of six collections of poetry. Her poems won first prize in the Soul Making contest (PEN women, San Francisco), in the annual Bellingham Review contest, Honorable Mention from Anderbo and Sycamore Review, and have twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Poems recently appear in Poecology, The Offending Adam, Canary, CA Quarterly, The Evansville Review, and West Trestle Review.