Watermelon Days

In the mid-summer heat of late June

Amid the gnat swarms

Green globes swell in the fields

Underneath the lobed vines sprawling

Their length in tangled maze

Here, we used to toss and load

The Jubilees and Crimson Sweets

By morning

Into the beds of late model Chevrolet

Trucks outfitted with hand-crank windows

And AM/FM radio

Evening on the tailgate gave way to night at the Farmers Market

Waiting for a buyer to take the remaining load

We peddled piecemeal

One melon at the time to little old ladies

Housewives who argued the price

Until nightfall when the buyers needed

Half a pickup load to finish out a trailer

Weary and desperate to leave

We took midnight’s low ball price

But those days have passed like

The heat waves rising up off the cracked blacktop

Our young, sinewy teenage bodies

Tanned and lean, have been replaced

By more efficient workers from

Southern countries who heave

Ice-box melons

Into decapitated school buses

To be re-packaged and shipped north

While teenage boys grow soft

With privelage and video games


©2020 Lenny Wells

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