picked at its peak

for weeks now
my siblings have been
picking the nectarines
before they can ripen
citing a preference
for crisp and tart
thwarting my desire
for not-so-green fruit

but they missed a gem
slightly hidden
behind a trio of leaves
on the highest branch
a fully ripened surprise
with veins of ruby-red running
from skin to seed
and sweet juicy-soft flesh
warm as the setting sun