fifty years ago
her entire world
was in the south of france
where she and her brother
would hold contests to see
who could pick the most fruit
from the lemon tree

they'd run back to the kitchen
that always smelled of bread
so they could drop
the bright yellow gems
painstakingly collected
into their mother's hands
callused from years
of war and worry
yet still so gentle
as she touched their
sun-kissed heads

but today she sits
alone in a café
so far away from
her beloved provence
and she smiles
trying not to cry
as the last bite
of tarte au citron
dissolves like
her lost youth
on her tongue


n.b. hier, j'ai fait cuire un tarte au citron. c'était exquis.