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Olive Harvest

It's true, the tree has the scent of the sea,
        but the silver leaves, their slender fingers,

the thick, infinitely twined trunk, some riddle
        in the roots that lets it drink from the stones,

even the place where a limb has broken or
        been lopped off, the shoot that springs back

to life, stumps that burn for hour upon hour,
        a scattered discard twig you press to your lips,

and the fruit that hangs from young branches
        and old, a green reddening to black, this fruit

ripened on enough bloodshed and hardened
        human behavior to make you think it will turn

away in disgust, year after suffering year
        comes back, as if to say here & here & here

Fred Marchant

Said Not Said
Graywolf Press

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