The Complications

Michele Battiste


The question is when will the peaches ripen and where?

We must think about wind storms. How the house
will get cleaned before we go. Who is allowed
to enter. Who is expected to leave.

The patched tire. The neighborhood
watch. Their records and


Provisions and resources.
Hydration and storage and sleep.

The child.
The dog.

Which of us must have patience and for what?
Permissible topics of conversation. Public

Legalities and ethical implications.
Schedules and biological clocks. Differing
definitions of ripeness. Different

The optimal route to take.
How high the stakes?

If we get there and the peaches rot?
If we arrive unprepared to manage the pests?

The others who wanted peaches and were turned
away. The question is who will make us suffer?

The question is who will pay for all this
happiness as we make our way?


Michele Battiste is the author of Waiting for the Wreck to Burn, winner of the 2018 Louis Bogan Award from Trio House Press (Spring 2019). Her other books include Ink for an Odd Cartography (2009) and Uprising (2014), both from Black Lawrence Press. For more information, check out



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