Grief, oranges

Never again will you do this:

peel an orange, its rind coming away

in ragged, cloth-lined cups. The globe beneath the skin

mapped out with white degrees of longitude.


Never again will you, as we must, separate 

the small purses, fat and filled,

or spit out the seeds that swim there

like tiny round fish with flattened tails.


You will never again lift your fingers

to breathe their citrus scent.

                         This world, this whole

world has gone from you,

as you have suddenly gone from us


leaving a linger of fragrance.

A bright thing, spent.

Alice Major has published nine highly praised poetry collections, three of which have been shortlisted for the Pat Lowther award (which she won in 2009). Her most recent book is a collection of essays on poetry and science, for which she received the Wilfred Eggleston award from the Writers Guild of Alberta and a national magazine award. She served as the first poet laureate for the city of Edmonton and is founder of the Edmonton Poetry Festival.