Through February’s hot sticky
weather Mum preserved ripened
fruit off our elderly plum peach
apple nectarine trees made jam
with sunny heat beating down on
wide open windows she peeled and
cut fruit, packed it into preserving
jars poured in boiling syrup
screwed down sealing lids placed
jars in the preserving pan poured
in boiling water to heat the jars
until their sealing lids popped.
Mum was not in a good mood
when we came home from school.
A week or so later Dad would
arrive home mornings with cases
of fruit at rock bottom prices
from a mate at the city markets.
Prices at rock bottom because
the soft fruit was about to rot.
Mum had to peel cut preserve
fruit fast before it rotted.
She did try getting us to peel,
cut fruit but we were slow, got
in the way in our little kitchen.
Oooops ! No go !
We stayed away until it was done.