The Lost Scent of Orange Blossoms

I grew up in

Southern California

Where my family

Ate home cooked

Meals together.

That world died

A horrible, slow death.


Like in a horror movie

A corporate hit job.

Bulldozers and chain saws

Killed it and

Dragged the corpses off

Without a trial.

The replacements were


Fast food,

Video games,


Reality shows.

Back in that magical,

Childhood kingdom

Where kids cultivated imaginations

There was an orange grove

Across the street.

The tree man

In kaki pants

And black boots said

We could have

The ones on the ground.

My rule of thumb was simple:

Squat and look for kaki pants.

There’s nothing sweeter

Than untouched

Whale sized oranges

Knocked off a tree

With a stick.

Suck juice from naval first.

The groves

Became strip malls,

Cloned houses,


Grade schools.

The fresh air

Turned purple

The dirt covered

With dead

Streets and parking lots.

Those orange trees

Tore their roots

From the ground and

Migrated south of the border

Without a visa

Thinking of cheap labor

And short-term profits.

No wonder a couple of kids

Went nuts at Columbine.

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I enjoyed the imagery of this poem. I too agree that Reality Television may not be “progress” :)

This is so very powerful…especially your last two lines…they caused me to draw in a breath.

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