Journal of Writing & Environment

Our spot is across the red delicious orchard, down one granny smith and across
two cherry plots until we get to the refuse pile. Looming warehouses, iceboxes full
of fruit—their generators making the ground hum as we stay hidden amidst junk.
We drag, flip and tilt broken fruit crates, each large enough for three girls to lay
down in with legs curled, until we have a house. Our hoard of chipped plates
and plastic cups scattered each week with weathered boards, pale at the break.
We never pretend we're rich or moody fairies like we do in our green yards with
their shady trees. Instead, we are Russians in the cold, we are gnomes far from
home. Under the trash, high mountain desert scrub. We practice shelter, crouch
in dirt and shrug on the aspect of things forgotten. We share and scavenge, noble
in hardship. Running home for dinner in the early autumn light, we carefully skirt
the migrant workers and their camps.