So Much Fruit…
(for a Malaysian Grandmother in Australia)
You look so odd in this backyard
(for it is a backyard not a garden)
with its dusty lawn and barbeque,
long unused, lurking in the corner.
Surrounded by the splintery teeth
of a paling fence, you pause
under a tree purple heavy
Later in the kitchen your deft fingers
dance like butterflies –
wielding a pair of chopsticks in
a sizzling wok – conjuring the perfume
of a time long gone.
I show up at your door each afternoon
(sticky lipped, licking a banana paddle pop).
We step out among plums
split and syrupy, scattered on dry grass –
What to do with so much fruit?
This question never plagued you
when rambutans clustered,
crimson and fragrant,
in leafy branches on the tree
in your garden at home.
Apples and Chillies
Last night I heard a woman talk about apples.
Her words hung like fragrant orbs in the twilight,
the crunch and tang of apple stories
beguiled us for a while…
But I must admit I do not relish this cold climate fruit –
Fine for fairy tales and picnic baskets –
rosy sweet, neatly sliced, baked in a pie,
delicious, no doubt, but too cosy
for those of us who grew up with the
scarlet spite of chillies on our tongues –
those shiny, pointed (sharp as painted
fingernails) berries spiking our tastebuds
and staining our lips blood bright…
There is no place for crisp and juicy
apple simple syllables in mouths that know
the seductive malevolence of chillies…