The Fig Tree

                        for my parents

In autumn they tie the bare branches into loops,
Then build a shelter with wood and tarps–

The tree is my father’s island, the home he never left,
Every leaf is a handshake with his past.

The tree is my mother’s island, the green dress of her youth—
Ripe purple fruit warm as the first kiss on her mouth.

All winter they fill baskets with shadows of a greener time.
They’ll carry in sleep the baskets to their island.