Picking Lemons

You can tell the photograph is posed —
the way you look back over your shoulder
while both hands reach up to the lemon

as if to pluck it from bountiful branch,
touch it to your lips, breathe in its sharp scent.
Full of the zest of youth, you radiate.

Stripy summer dress, cap-sleeved, out of season
at home but perfect here, allows the sun
to caress your outstretched arms.

Your smile says you know who is on the other
side of the camera; comfortable enough
in his company you keep your glasses on.

What neither of you can see is his dark
shadow intruding on the picture.

Madelaine Smith


Madelaine Smith has had poems published in various journals and anthologies including ‘The Shirt’ in The Darker Side of Love (Paper Swans 2013), ‘Bated’ in Awakening the House (JAHM 2016)‘, ‘The Brickmakers Wife’ (Northampton Poetry Review 2019). In a drawer she has three unpublished novels.

© 2020