Crosspollinated With the Grapefruit Tree—Free Verse

Have you found the treasure on the old lemon tree?

It has long since grown old and died,

But there was a time that it held

The largest lemons anyone had ever seen

Hanging on the tree and seldom used

Except when friends came to see.

They would ask why we never ate them

But they weren’t around when we had the dog

That never shit anywhere but under that tree

And they didn’t have the memory of that smell

Or the dog shit on the bottom of their shoes

From the times as a kid you had been sent out there

To pick the lemons for your older sisters

Who didn’t want to use the lemons

But did want to laugh at you

When you got out the hose and a stick

And whined as you cleaned between

The treads of your only pair of shoes.


A free verse poem has no set pattern for line or stanza length. Rhyme is not used, or it is used sparingly. The line length and the rhythm or the lines are dictated by the natural rhythm of speech or other concerns such as emphasis on a particular word, image, or idea.


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