a gift from sunny florida

every year at Christmas
my grandfather’s sister
sends him a box of oranges
from Florida — sometimes
grapefruits, too, which he
prepares for us of a morning
with an expert hand,
each pale pink segment
perfectly separated from
the pith and membrane
and sweet enough to need
no sugar (though he adds
it to his anyway).
this year the oranges
came late, after epiphany,
and in midwinter
my father brought home
three deeply colored fruits
from this bounty.
they sat in a prim row,
pointy stem ends angled
toward each other
as if in conversation,
and i felt it would be
a sacriledge of sorts
to pierce the peel
and see what lay within.
what a richness to have
these red-gold jewels
gracing the table;
what a wonder that
oranges from florida
would find their way
to warm a cold kansas
kitchen in january!
but eventually i succumbed
to curiosity and slit the skin
to reveal the fruit within;
each piece dripped with
juice as sweet as honey.