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Bushel Basket

by Thomas Johnson

A woman is not an apronful
Of peaches
Loosed on a slate drainboard
Late in lackadaisical
Sun, that sweet billiard break
Of wobble and
Rubbed cheeks.

But take peaches, loaded thick
In a bushel basket.

That one, middle way down,
Small, but too ripe
For culling out,
The weight of overfill
Above, pressing it
Flush between slats,

Where it bruises, a slight
Nectary rivulet
Turning woodgrain
And, not taking eyes from it
Till it reaches

This tickle
At the back of the throat.


Thomas Johnson’s most recent volume is Ground Zero from West Coast Poetry Review Press. He is working on an MFA at Cornell. (Spring 1975)

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