The Strawberry

November 19, 2007

after Francis Ponge, master poet of things

A morning fruit, the strawberry is adorned by dew. Like shy red bells with a down-turned tip, they shiver as you reach for one in your clumsy way. But deception. The two halves of the strawberry, so much like the unknowing heart, though it would be immodest for me to say so, is not a smooth object. In fact, it is covered with poppy seeds, almost imperceptible to the eye. Yet the tongue approves, for it is also not a homogeneous mass, but a sensitive beast fit through a tight hairnet, it senses the individual points, the crosshairs of taste and texture. The surface of a strawberry, likewise, has a map wrapped around it with longitudes and latitudes, points evenly spaced apart where they meet. These are like the far away figures dotting the country landscape. Who are they anyway, approaching now in pilgrim clothes?

(initially published in The Grove Review)

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