It must have been forty years ago,
my brother and sisters, our mom and dad,
gathered around the fat television
before our Saturday supper
to watch my skinny father
make the evening news.

Earlier that slow news day
at the Atlanta Farmers Market,
the camera crew had discovered him
buying a bushel of peaches
and a watermelon.

He thumped the melon
and mugged for the camera: Sweet
as your mother’s love, he said.
Around the TV we howled
how a family can howl,
so proud of his wit and our fame,
his name on the banner below.

Overcast today, the end
of February, and my two peach trees
have blossomed early here
in my front yard
in our Texas college town,
these pink, daytime stars
surreal and sexy against the gray.

I think of him now
and that peach-swollen heat
of a Georgia summer,
how sometimes
he would buy us fruit
by the bushel, how
a few years later he left
my mother and married
one of her best friends.

But that one night
of my father’s stardom,
it was family night.
We stayed up till eleven,
bowed to the television,
and watched the news
for the second time.
My father, he said it again,
Sweet as your mother’s love,
and we lost it.