The Pickers

Stephen Pace

Stephen Pace

Out in the orchards
trees hung so heavy with apples
the limbs are propped with planks
the pickers dusty cars line up
one at every row end
old Nissans & Hondas with fenders
unpainted in differing shades
The migrants sit high atop ladders
working the trees top down
dropping the silver red fruit
into already heavy pouches
which filled get dumped into crates
left for them by the field manager
daylight to dusk except for lunch
when they pause for tortillas & beans
at the trunks of the dusty cars
which stand open like wells
never filled never full
except for plastic sacks
On the road the sign reads
‘Pickers Wanted!’

“We show our sympathy with slavery
by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them
and holding them in bondage where we can set them free.”

~ William Seward


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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2 Responses to The Pickers

  1. laborious – (I used to insure many of the pickers and packers in your area)


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