Robin Kinzer :: “Meyer Lemon Tree”

In the days after we break up,
I become obsessed with the 
idea of planting a lemon tree.

I have been cautioned by all of
my plant-loving friends, one of
whom is an actual botanist: 

Your balcony will not get enough sun.
You will get leaves, but perhaps no fruit.
I purchase a Meyer lemon tree.

The internet informs me they’ve been known
to fruit year-round.  In winter, I do as told, 
and move the tree inside, lifting my 

blinds and draping the leaves in sun.
My friend the botanist comes to visit.  
He examines my tree, says: You did not

pick a plant meant for beginners.
Could you not have started with a fern?
And I think of you, wine bottles

multiplying under your bed
like jewel toned dust bunnies, 
an alcoholic from a family of angry 

veterans and famous Republicans.  
Still, I could not have chosen any 
other way.  Without you now, 

I seek my fingers into the soil
like ten sightless, searching worms.
Dirt accumulates beneath my

pearled nails.  I close my eyes and 
inhale, urging the scent of lemon to 
waft from, perhaps, an unseen bud.

Every morning, I peer between 
the waxy green leaves for signs
of fruit.  Every morning: None.

Previously published in Sad Girl Blog’s Poetry Contest.


Robin Kinzer is a queer, disabled poet, memoirist, and editor. She was once a communist beaver in a PBS documentary. She previously studied psychology and poetry at Sarah Lawrence and Goucher Colleges, and is now an MFA candidate at University of Baltimore. Robin has poems recently published, or shortly forthcoming in Little Patuxent Review, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, fifth wheel press, Corporeal Lit, Delicate Friend, and others. She loves glitter, Ferris wheels, and waterfalls. She also loves radical empathy, vintage fashion, and carnivals. She can be found on Twitter at @RobinAKinzer and at