Strange fruit

I had to head back home this week because my mama was ill. I say home – I haven’t lived there for years and it’s 120 miles away, but it’s where I grew up and there’s still something about the way the place smells that makes me feel like a little boy again.

She’s tough but she’s broken her hip, so she isn’t fully mobile anymore. I was supposed to be looking after her, picking up her groceries and making sure she got her mail. But when I brought back what she asked for from the store, she yelled at me because I got the wrong brand of this and the wrong type of that and the peppers were too green and the fruit was too ripe… and she was right. I didn’t know what I was doing. I’m a grown man and I don’t know how to pick a zucchini.  I’ve lived in the city for so long, so far from the soil, that I have no idea what nature is supposed to look like anymore. Where I live, everything is polished and shrink-wrapped and packaged up to be sold. I felt ashamed of myself. My mama, one generation back, picked fruit off the tree. How long would I last on a farm? How long would the farm last with me on it?

Sorry. I get like this when I see family.


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