Figs

looking through my kitchen window

I notice my fig bush has grown
several feet since last summer

I can no longer pull down the top limbs
to harvest the ripe, brown fruit

when contemplating my figs, I usually think of
Middle Eastern markets, hillsides, and biblical stories

but today, I think of my mother
and her two great fig bushes

she canned fig preserves
delicious on her homemade, buttered biscuits

even the butter was homemade
when we lived on the farm

but the fig bush I thought of today 
was the one behind her well house

on the barren place we bought
after selling the farm

when lightning struck and killed her fig bush
she never planted another

to my surprise, she said she was allergic to the bush
and would get figs from friends

now it comes to me
I know what she meant

I’ve learned to suit-up with long sleeves
and long pants when I pick figs

not only sensitive to the leaves but also
the scent it spreads around itself

still, I never fail to don my clothes and harvest
the bounty of the bush’s summer sweetness

standing in the yard, I eat my fill
straight from its limbs

thinking of
by-gone-times and far away hills

Fig 2 7-13-18

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About Sabra Bowers

Poet / Blogger / Writer
This entry was posted in Photography, Poet, Poetry, Story Poem, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Figs

  1. Mark Spruill says:

    Sabra,

    Having grown up in the deep South, I also think of figs as preserves on buttery home made biscuits. Big breakfasts on lazy Saturday mornings. And Mom.

    I think we better make some preserves this year. 🙂

    Thanks for the good words that brought up good memories.

    Mark

    • Sabra Bowers says:

      Do you know how? Unfortunately, I never learned, but I do long for a jar of that homemade goodness! Time to learn a new skill, maybe. So good to hear from you. Let me know if you make preserves. 🤓

  2. Ron. says:

    Delicious, SB!

  3. Love this on a few levels! Thank you so much for sharing it.

  4. Figs are some of my favorite fruit, Sabra. They are delicious, ripe from the tree or cooked as jam. The French native loves them with cheese:)

  5. Jules says:

    I’m not sure that figs are a real good crop to grow here in the north. But I have two friends who have figs in their yards. One gifted us with canned figs. There are many plants that my skin doesn’t like.
    I didn’t know that figs protect themselves the way you described. Nature is still very much a wonderful mystery. Enjoy your figs. 🙂

  6. Reblogged this on Hibbard House (full of Basil, Books & Labradors) and commented:
    We always had fig bushes at my parents’ house. Grandmother Irene and Mama both loved them, making more preserves than we could eat or give away. I would say, “Mama, could we please have some grape jelly from the store? Please?”
    My friends and I all knew how to pick the best fresh figs for a healthy afternoon snack that didn’t spoil our dinners–we peeled them by pulling on the stem and ate them right by the bush. Mama didn’t know and we didn’t wash our hands! As an adult, I learned to enjoy figs with savory foods, like in a salad or on a cheese board, but Mama kept making and giving away her preserves…she even used them as a fund-raising project when she was “Queen” of her Eastern Star Chapter.
    I agree with Sabra about covering your skin when picking them–those prickly leaves do make one itch! Today, I enjoy figs when I can get them…we’re trying to revive the old fig tree we cut back after moving here a few years ago. Hopefully this year, there will be enough figs for us and the birds!

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