Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Peaches

What was I thinking of when I threw one of my
peach stones over the fence at Metro North,
and didn't I dream as always it would take
root in spite of the gravel and the newspaper,
and wasn't I like that all my life, and who isn't?
I thought of oranges and, later, watermelon
and yellow mangoes hanging from sweetened strings,
but it was peaches, wasn't it, peaches most of
all I thought about and if the two trees that
bore such hard little fruit would only have lived
a few years more how I would have had a sister
and I would have watched her blossom, her brown curls
her blue eyes, though given her family she would have
been wild and stubborn, harsh maybe, she would
be the angry one--how quiet I was--the Chinese
grew their peaches for immortality--the
Russians planted theirs so they could combine
beauty and productivity, that was
my aesthetic too, I boiled my grape leaves,
I ate my fallen apples, loving sister.

-Gerald Stern