Thursday, June 29, 2017

Hadrian’s Villa (Peter Blume), Sonnet #357

The olive leans like an old man
Without his walking stick, its bole
Struck by a lightning bolt that ran
Into the ground and split its soul.
Its upper branches, though, are whole,
Heavy this time of year with fruit,
The offspring of sun, bark, and root.
One day a year we beat the tree,
Standing on long ladders with poles,
Knocking each ripened olive free
To fall and gather in blankets,
Lifted so every ovoid rolls
Into waiting wicker baskets.
For days we’ll feel rungs in our soles.