Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Eating/thinking. plums. (this is just to say...).

While waiting for my dinner to cook tonight, I began cleaning out the fridge (tomorrow is garbage day), found a few plums lurking in the dark shadows behind a pot of stew. Took a bite of one, cold against my teeth, that sharp sourness just beneath the skin giving way to sweetness at the heart of the fruit. The poem by William Carlos Williams came to mind - one of my favorite poems of all time.

"This Is Just To Say."

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

And I remember that while I've loved this poem since I first read it, years ago, the simplicity of the words, this kind of conversation between two people who share everything (I think the poet wrote it to his wife), I've never agreed with one aspect of it. I don't like my plums cold. I want them warm (well, room temperature, at least), as if warmed by the sun, as if they had just been picked, lush and juicy and sweet, the flavor richer, more intense somehow, straight from the tree to my waiting hand, my eager mouth. The juices syrupy, dripping down my chin. Not chilled ice-cold in the fridge, numbing the tongue.

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