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Strawberry Tree

It does not grow strawberries.
It grows bland-tasting, fuzzy globules
That ripen just before they drop,
Puce and squishy.
Unripe, the fruits are variously
Parrot green, plum yellow,
Tangerine or cardinal.
Flowers dangle beside them:
Wax shells tinged with pink,
Autumn-born and winter-lasting,
Delicate as snow.

Ever-green but ever-changing,
Ever-graceful with curved
Grey trunk and slender
Branches, it crouches
By the white road above the olive
Groves and vales of pines,
Bird-visited but not
Depleted, rich with its
Neglected harvest.
 

by Damaris West

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