Judith Fox

Meyer Lemons

The dwarf variety takes days to unroll
its closed white buds—uncork a heady fragrance

that tangos across my balcony, conjures
the tree my husband and I once planted

in the heart of our garden. From it we picked
fruit to halve, then squeeze into tea,

onto freshly grilled fish.
The same tree that later shaded our cat’s bones,

then my husband’s ashes.
Before I moved, left behind the remains

and the citrus tree, I visited my widowed father,
gifted him a bag of golden lemons—

little suns, buttercups, synchronized flares
from fireflies—that returned me to a memory

of my aproned mother in the kitchen,
steeping tea in a porcelain pot, old country roses

painted on the lid. Near her, at the counter,
my father slicing lemons, dark hair slicked back

and parted on the right,
hands unspotted, fingernails newly clipped.

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Judith Fox is a poet and fine art photographer. She’s a finalist for the 2023 Bellevue Literary Review John & Eileen Allman’s Poetry Prize and BLR’s Spring 2022 Poetry Prize. Her poems also appeared or are forthcoming in Rattle, Notre Dame Review, Sugar House and numerous other journals. Fox’s photographs are in the collections of six museums including LACMA, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin. Her photography book, I Still Do: Loving and Living with Alzheimer’s, was named ‘one of the best photography books of 2009’ by Photo-Eye Magazine. Photographs from I Still Do were exhibited around Europe and the United States and Fox has been a global advocate and speaker on behalf of Alzheimer’s awareness and family caregivers.