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Cappadocia, and the old tree creaks, Its weight of fruit lighter and less bitter Than its weight of memories. Fourteen generations of one ancient family Have grown apricots here, but now The internet beckons, and children flee like sparrows. I split the apricot along its crack With my trimmed fingernails, Its skin parting to gentle pressure. The orange flesh, drier and less luscious Than its blowsy cousin, the peach, Is deep and sweet with the aroma of grandparents, And dries to an ancient leather finish, As brown and wrinkled as the skin of fruitpickers In this brown and wrinkled country. But now foreigners like their dried apricots Wet and sticky with oil and sulphates, so only Our family fruit from this family tree dries on this ground. This year we sold the bottom fifty acres. Next month the bulldozers will move in, Felling vital timber and newly unfurling leaves To bury their surprising wealth of hidden phosphate. Nisaba M.
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