Black History Month Author Highlights: Expert of the Apricot Groves

She comes bearing fruit, ancient
by way of Asia, Africa, Alabama,
digging for time, six thousand years
to the other side of the world.

She comes bearing fruit, rock-
serious ovaries birthed without,
breaking, blooming white
as winter leaving overnight.

She comes bearing fruit, ripe,
finger-circled gifts boxed, settled
into levels, for reduced swelling,
burning heart of a late summer sun.

My mother never studied history,
faraway lands, unplanted dirt yields
joy, blooms where she plants, says,
If it grows, it grows.

She comes bearing fruit, asks
Do you like apricots? I don’t
answer, I open to be cured,
recover, plant a seed.


Valerie Smith delights in poetry that tells the truth. She is a student of the PhD in Poetry at Georgia State University and a graduate of the MA in Professional Writing at Kennesaw State University. She teaches community-engaged writing and first-year English composition. Her poems appear in Call + Response, The Auburn Avenue, South85, and BlazeVox.

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