Reuven Rubin’s Orange Groves near Jaffa 1928 – Mare Leonard

              hangs above our  side-by-side,
Arab men hang on
              ladders trimming trees near the
sea but we can’t see

              the Mediterranean,
only workers balancing
               like puppets in a
child’s play, but paid

to work day and night, to exist
               in tiny shacks,
so tight, only the groves seem
               bright, like oranges

would be if it wasn’t August
      when nothing grows
               in the desert. Orange?
      Roofs, sand dunes,

the background, Rubin’s outline
               of Neve Tzedek,
Jews, Arabs live in burning
               heat so close,

the sun creates orange waves,
               a mirage,
houses touch each other
               as if one.

Mary LeonardMare Leonard lives in an old school house overlooking The Rondout Creek. Away from her own personal blackboard, she teaches through the Institute for Writing and Thinking and the MAT program at Bard College. She was a finalist in last year’s NY State Di Biase contest. Her poems have appeared in the Vietnam poetry publication from Perfume River, Rats Ass Review, Figroot, Sweet Tree, Eunoia, Unbroken, and most recently in Ariel Chart her new chapbook, The Dark Inside Her Hooded Coat will be out soon from Finishing Line Press