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peaches, poetry, and escaping to the air conditioning

liz lamoreux

We have escaped to the air-conditioned Mandolin Café to beat the heat. Our house, since the neighbors cut down the beloved tree that shaded our home, is warmer than warm. It's the kind of hot where all you want to do is just get naked and stretch out on your bed with the fan blowing right on you.

The bartender here is singing a song about how "if you don't have an air conditioner you're not the man for me." Oh yes. How I love that. It is pretty funny. I love our neighborhood café where you can be working away on your laptop and then suddenly the bartender starts singing a cappella (microphone and all, of course).

We are consuming ginger peach tea to cool off. I thought Washington peaches were in season, so we went to our favorite grocery store to get a few, but it turns out that the special Frog Hollow peaches are not yet in season. I was craving them a tiny bit. I had to settle for two huge not-yet-ripe California peaches and the anticipation.

I had a moment earlier today that reminded me about the peaches this time of year. I want to turn this moment into a poem, but right now, I just have some thoughts and words put together…poem notes I suppose.


I kept the phone messages for months. The call from your daughter, Don't panic, but she's in the hospital. Your husband, She's doing better. It's gonna be okay. I listened to them daily for weeks. She was alive. I didn't mean to lose them. But one week I just forgot to hit 2 to keep them for 14 more days. Today, I opened the freezer and paused soaking in the cold, wishing I could escape the surprising northwest humidity. I noticed the peaches July 2004, Frog Hollow propped in the door shelf. That first year we lived here; I wanted to be able eat them in December, so you explained, Quickly drop them in boiling water. Take them out and peel. Slice and put them in a mixture of sugar and that stuff you can buy to stop them from turning brown. Yes, yes. You will find it at your store. The aisle where you get the Sure-Gel. You will find it. Follow the directions on the box. Then, pour them right into Ziplocs.

I realized I had not really thought about you for a few days. The thoughts to call you and then the remembering, it doesn't happen as often. I am forgetting. Time is subtle and pushes me forward without you. This makes my heart ache tonight. It hasn't hurt for months, but I want to dial, hear your voice, and ask you how to freeze the raspberries. Yes, yes, I know how. But, I just want to call all the same.

I do what I have to do to keep breathing. Three years and two power outages is too long to live in the freezer. She was alive. I do what I need to do to wade through it.


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