"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Friday, June 24, 2011

Poetry Friday: A Watermelon Poem

 Happy Poetry Friday, everyone!

Today it is cold and rainy, again. We've been having quite a lot of those spells this summer. The handy thing is that I am spending very little time watering the plants and everything is growing like gangbusters. I am looking forward to a few more of those painfully sunny days now that it is officially summer.

It's important to have squint-your-eyes sunshiny days for watermelon eating. A's favorite fruit, and one of his very favorite foods is watermelon, a quintessential summer pleasure. He always asserts that it is "the thinker's fruit" which never fails to make me smile. Who doesn't have rosy memories from their childhood involving watermelon? Today's poem is a little intro to summers past in my brain, in celebration of the solstice this past week. Shout-out to my cousins, scattered all over the world but still as fond as ever!

Ode to Watermelon

I remember standing on my grandma's veranda
The grey wood, slippery with dry beach sand,
Ptoo!-ing black seeds into the curling sawgrass.
All the cousins, reunited for an elastic week,
Here together flicking the stubborn ones from
Crisp, rosy flesh with springy index fingers.
Proper technique also meant leaning far forward
All of us slanted togetherlike books on a shelf,
The whole deck tilting,like a summer canoe as
We dripped rivulets of juice down our arms
And let it plink in pink drops overboard.
I heard the aunt-sisters laugh from the kitchen,
An adult world of loud talk and ice in tinkly glass.
Behind us Grandma opened the grill and squinted
Briskly balancing the deck again by leaning backwards,
Dodging the smoke cloud from the shish-kabobs,
Carefully threaded on their funny blackened sticks.
Bellies full, we heaped up a mound of rinds,
Gnawed to pale crescents with a moat of juice.
And then clenched and unclenched our fists
Giggling at the tacky feeling of all that sugar
Dried to rubber cement between our fingers.

We still buy a lot of watermelon, we're a melon a week family at our house, but I miss the seeds. A thinks I'm crazy, but there's a little bit of evidence out there that perhaps the modern hybrid breeding programs that have culled the little black teardrops from our fruit have done some taste dulling in the bargain. I hope, eventually to accomplish growing my own old fashioned seeded melons. Next year I will actually be able to get plants in the ground at the right time and maybe that will be the clinching key. In the meantime, thank goodness for the farmer's market!

Check out more Poetry Friday poems at Carol's Corner, the host blog for this week.
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