story

Three Girls in a Cherry Tree

As teenagers, my sisters and I picked fruit for summer work near Fruitland, Ontario. We foolishly wore shorts and the backs of our legs burned bright red. Normally, cherries are pulled straight off the stems, but no one told us what to do; they assumed we knew. As a result, we picked basketfuls of cherries with the stems on and the farmer had to sell our harvest at his roadside fruit-stand rather than including the fruit in his shipment to E.D. Smith’s jam factory. We were embarrassed. This poem is written in lower diction as we were young teens.

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Three Girls in a Cherry Tree

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We three sisters rode in a truck

To orchards humming honey

In July’s dawn

Three girls

Three ladders

Three baskets full

We sweet fruit savoured

Till our cheeks stained suit

Fingers pulled stems

All day long

Cold drinks from water pails

Tin ladle song

Red fingers

Red lips

Red legs

Red faces

Farmer sold cherries

At roadside station

*Inspired by Theodore Roethke’s writings about his childhood

Photo by Pascal Debrunner on Unsplash

Have fun playing around with words, words from your childhood experiences!

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