Story, Value, and Becoming More Real
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Retrospective in Orange

June 17, 2021

Amy Malskeit


Oranges tumble

onto a counter

bathed in early light.


I rinse each one

under the faucet’s steady stream,

dust eddying down the drain,

this water an illusion of plenty

in the desert of my childhood.


Oranges sliced and pressed

onto the whirling reamer,

juicer singing its song of extraction,

singing and singing as it spins

under the pressure of my hand,


juice spilling

into the reservoir

into the spout

into the cup

that will bear witness to

            —although that day,

            I did not know—

the abundance

that can come

after things are split open,

emptied, poured out.


Our hearty thanks for the featured image by Jonathan Pielmayer on Unsplash.


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  1. Nicole says:

    Well If those last few lines didn’t just give me goosebumps! Wow.

    Thank you for writing this.

  2. Amy says:

    @Nicole, your response makes me smile. Thank you for reading and responding.

  3. Linda says:

    Oh Amy, I had no idea where this was going, but that tension pulled me right in! Knowing you, I anticipated something quite profound. What a fascinating description within such simplicity of this action, followed by such a complex ending. ❤❤❤

  4. Pat sween says:

    I am amazed how deep you take the reader with simple words. This is beautiful and life giving truth. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Amy says:

    @Linda, thank you for engaging so holistically with my poem. I so appreciate your reflection.

  6. Amy says:

    @Pat, it makes me deeply glad that this was a life-giving piece for you to read. Thank you.

  7. Terri Moon says:

    Oh, wow. This poem gives me pause, I must think about this for a long while. What a gorgeous way of leading us into a beautiful truth! Please keep writing, and sharing, your poems!

  8. Amy says:

    @Terri, I hope this poem both provokes and nourishes you for that long while. It’s a gift to have a reader like you.

  9. “Singing its song of extraction” wow. A friend of mine wrote recently about her ancestors who were miners, extracting gold from stone, and the seeming violence that is part of that good process. This is a beautiful poem. Thank you, Amy!

  10. Amy says:

    @Matthew, I am so quick to name something good or not good. Slowly, I am learning to watch for redemption, and to let others hold hope where I despair of its coming. Beauty for ashes. Thanks for your thoughtful read.

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