From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.
Lee, Li-Young. Rose: Poems. United States, BOA Editions, 1986.
Why I chose this poem
I came across this poem on Twitter among an offering of poems about food for Thanksgiving, that problematic US holiday. I instantly fell into expansive, openhearted joy. As I took it inside me, which is what the Morning Memory project on this site is all about, I discovered that I choked up ... the sweet subjunctive of it. As if death were no where in the background. But, of course, it is. And it's not death that summons the grief, it's every numbed out, wasted moment that I grieve.