Drought Tolerance

by Tasia Trevino

I ride passenger-side in Mom's work truck

to a private estate, Hundred Acre Wood.

The sun creeps the crest as

men in hoodies milk the vines.

The things we do for rich people,
Mom muses, as we mallet brass

tacks between barrel staves, stretch mesh over sorrel,

unfasten stubborn little Alpines

from hay-choked stem tangles,

hug 50-pound bone meal sacks,
slam shovel noses into calcareous crust


summon three sisters,

pinch and pat the earth, maternal shush,

sink cut flower

stems into white buckets,

lug them up to the house on the hill.

The only water here is

bottled sourced ethically elsewhere.

The owners want

a dozen lemon trees

in pots around the pool

they're having built in time for summer.

I stretch a dusty hose to reach
their roses as a

coastal breeze snakes over tan

velvet-draped hills,

it shakes loose
striated bird songs wasps' nests my mama manzanita daddy drought sage sister boughed brother
my home disappears in its lushness bristles brush curry comb dust cakes flakes bristled flesh
bristled brown tan and a bay hard wood and soft
cork tree gum tree sweet tree.
Mom talks with the

forestman, horseman,

pondman in the ditch,

and the lady who owns this hill,

the glass house of angle and measure.

She pierces the dust with

a sharp-ended straw while we trim

her rubbery suckers.