I am like a lime or a lemon,
a hybrid, not an original
or pure species
though perhaps the geography
of an orange or grapefruit
makes a more apt simile.

In South Carolina, a family
took care to plant their watermelons
a mile from others
to keep their delicate rind
and sweet, sweet flesh unsullied.

Anthropologists and linguists
track seeds through years
of wind and flood for origin

chasing a speck of pollen
on the wing of a bee.


Poem by Michele Reese

Michele Reese is the author of the poetry collection Following Phia (WordTech Editions). Her poems have appeared in the The Paris Review, Congeries, Blackberry, Smartish Pace, and other literary journals and anthologies. She is a professor of English at the University of South Carolina Sumter.