Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Pickle Belt

The fruit rolled by all day.
They prayed the cogs would creep;
They thought about Saturday pay,
And Sunday sleep.

Whatever he smelled was good:
The fruit and flesh smells mixed.
There beside him she stood,—
And he, perplexed;

He, in his shrunken britches,
Eyes rimmed with pickle dust,
Prickling with all the itches
Of sixteen-year-old lust.

Credit


From The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke, published by Doubleday and Company. Copyright © 1932, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1961 Theodore Roethke. Used with permission.

Author


Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke, born in in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1908, received the Pulizter Prize in 1954 for The Waking.

Date Published: 1932-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/pickle-belt