Weekly Write: “The Fig Tree” by Romana Iorga

The Fig Tree

We walk down the path with our children.
Dust rises behind us like smoke.

The ground is littered with figs:
small purple bodies
burst open to show their red seeds.

Foreignness blooms quietly inside their wounds.

All these years I wished to be whole,
my fragmented self constantly rearranging
its pieces to suit new surroundings.

Now I find the puzzle all wrong, some pieces
not only missing but clearly irretrievable.

The picture I have in front of my eyes
tells lies. It fractures faces, contorts
limbs, splits bodies in two.

Everything’s backwards: the sky

holds a bodiless earth on its plate; the giant fig trees
point downward like ingrown toenails.

I look at the pattern of leaves above our heads.
Solid branches crisscross this way and that, each
with its purpose – a self-contained universe
to which we cannot belong.

Here are my leaves –

they form passageways of dense shadows,
where the light
travels unencumbered, precise
before hitting the ground and dying
on impact.

Here are my limbs –

they mold the air, they push it
toward the scattered figs on the ground,
toward these lonely people
scattered among the figs.


Originally from Chisinau, Moldova, Romana Iorga is a  Romanian-American poet living in Switzerland. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ruminate, saltfront, Borderlands, as well as on her poetry blog at clayandbranches.com.




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