Just before dusk, scouting
for elusive autumn fruit,
we pass green persimmons,
skirting clinging spiderwebs
and autumn olive bushes
along the forest’s edge.
Shadowed behind the graves
below the walnut trees,
a deer family leaps away
with a sudden crash, the buck
with his four-point crown
guarding from the rear.
We begin to sing, loudly,
announcing our presence,
hoping the pawpaws
are still too green to flee.


It’s still too early for ripe pawpaws in our part of Virginia. When it’s time for harvest, if the fruit is out of reach, we shake the trees’ thin trunks and the fragrant fruit falls.

Young pawpaw plant on right

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