top of page

1st Place Poetry Winner: Meyer Lemon Tree - Robin Kinzer

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 likely 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.


Robin Kinzer is a poet, though she has worked primarily in the mental health field. Her work often deals with illness, loss, love, and longing. She is an MFA student at University of Baltimore’s program in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts. Robin has poems recently published, or forthcoming, in Little Patuxent Review, Wrongdoing Magazine, Sepia Quarterly, Fifth Wheel Press, The Bitchin' Kitsch, Gutslut, and Beyond Queer Words.

You can find Robin Kinzer on Twitter at: @RobinAKinzer


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page