Not to Harvest

It is a little far away
for me, on the other side of the window.

I go outside to feel something in these woods
and see the puffball we decided not to harvest
has dried into a yellow meringue, crusted, crumbling.

Sticks and leaves have fallen—it emits
a steam of dust when poked—from
two apples trees, one with two

fruits and one with a hundred. So I eat them
as breakfast but all I can taste are candy brands.

It is the searching for it I find I’ve accepted
once I walk out so far, the only choice
is to walk back home.

This month, the trees grow slowly quieter.
Three white tails crest in the other direction.

I suppose it’s like having space, reading
quietly while someone you love
is in the other room.

What I’ve learned from trying to take a walk
a day is lumbering change—only yellow leaves
left now—a change for and in myself.


Freesia McKee (she/her) writes about place, gender, and genre through poetry, prose, book reviews, and literary criticism. Recent work appears in Fugue, About Place Journal, Porter House Review, and her newest chapbook, Hummingbird Vows (Bottlecap Press, 2023). She is an Assistant Professor of English at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.   WEB