Nuclear Winter

Nuclear Winter

My grandmother told stories
of smoke and smudge
to save her navel orange groves
in a Florida freeze.
Sometimes her work failed.

Then each Christmas
she shipped a crate of oranges
so thin-skinned
they had to arrive fast.
Fruit so flame-y orange
we fell in love
with hand-squeezing,
licked juice from our fingers.

The weather person
explains cyclone bomb.
A fast pressure change,
lethal cold for the citrus,
record cold.

The next news cycle
another chill to the bone
he is the bomb
fat-finger boast
on the bomb button.

Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet. Her grandparents (a retired prison warden and his wife who raised chickens to sell eggs) spent many years in Florida. Her new book coming out in 2018, How I Learned to Be White, records experiences in her life that have helped her tease out the strands of white privilege that has been her life.

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