My mother held out for tangerines.
They were more willing than the orange,
Rare as China, still, and carried the
Thought, which was never spoken,
That life was no more than that.
Peeling them now in the darkened
Kitchen, the taste of them almost in
My mouth. A mouth forged
From the soft melding of two others
Slipping open like caves found
In darkness, moistening the sweet,
Heavy air that fell between them
With the thought that was never spoken.
My thumbs enter the skin
No differently than did those
On the hands of my father
For the first time, her shoulders
More willing than oranges,
And found a fruit,
Rare as China, still.
Dave Caserio, a former recipient of a Fellowship in Poetry Award from the New York State Foundation of the Arts, has worked in outreach programs such as the Dodge Poets in the Schools, Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau and the Billings YMCA/Writer’s Voice. He has been an invited poet to the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, The Seattle Poetry Festival, The High Plains Book Festival and The Montana Festival of the Book. His work has appeared in the anthologies, Children Remember Their Fathers and Poems Across The Big Sky. Dave has twice produced, A Feast For The Hunger Moon: An Evening of Poetry, Music, Dance and Art, as part of the Billings Venture Theatre’s Independent Artist Series, as well as WordSongs and Arc of the Communal shows of poetry and music. His multi-voiced, collaborative poem, I Conjure A Stubborn Faith, was featured at the Billings Fringe Festival. He conducts a writing workshop for Cancer Survivors at the Billings Clinic. His CD of poetry and music, Wisdom For A Dance In The Street, is available from Gazoobi Tales. "Muriel" was published in his 2014 collection This Vanishing.