Lucia Cherciu

The Apple Trees from Home

I didn’t know I already had everything.
Abundance and fear. Abundance of fear.

I defied darkness. I had my health.
I prayed to remember. I prayed to forget.
I followed the light, sought the light in others.
Tried to name the four kinds of pears

grafted on my grandparents’ pear tree.
Dreamed all night I was picking

summer apples, cherries, plums
from all our fruit trees I left behind. Why

did you leave, asks my mother.
Don’t worry, time will pass

and soon you’ll come home again,
my father used to say. I didn’t tell them

I wanted to stay. I should have called
more often. I should have sent more money.  

I followed the routine. Feigned a routine.
I fasted. I ate my restlessness.

I pined for a white porch that evaded me.
I longed for a hundred kinds of grapes.

I listened to the lingering litany of birds
I couldn’t name and I laughed. 

Lucia Cherciu is the author of five books of poetry, including Train Ride to Bucharest (Sheep Meadow Press, 2017), a winner of the Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize. Her work was nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net. She teaches English at SUNY/Dutchess. Currently, she is looking for an agent for her novel. Her web page is



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