Nothing like the birch, its slender height
bowing with the wind, its white skin peeling,
even floating delicately, your mother stands firm,
sometimes stout, spreading her arms in a canopy
that bears you, offers your delicacy to the world.
And what a delicious fruit you are. Sweet
or tart as any temptress could be, you cling
to the branch offering you, retaining a stem
that measures the promise you hold
with each twist. Each turn brings a luster
to your skin that seduces even as you blush
at the mere touch, inviting that first kiss.
Whether soft or firm, the flavor of your flesh
does not disappoint, is relished to the very end.
Ah, but then your connection to birch sets in
as you tickle my throat, and then my ears,
until I feel an itch even stronger than that
which tempted me to know your taste,
my tongue and throat swelling, begging
for relief. I resign myself to knowing
my sensitivity means you must feel
a fire inside of you, but isn’t it fitting
that it satisfies my passion for you,
your sweetness even richer as cobbler or pie?
Oral allergy syndrome is a reaction to the proteins in certain foods that mimic those in a pollen that causes allergies. My reaction to certain raw fruits and nuts (walnuts, almonds, apples, cherries, peaches, etc.) indicates that I am allergic to birch pollen.
The prompt for Day 24 of National/Global Poetry Writing Month
at napowrimo.net is to write a descriptive poem about a fruit.
The prompt for NaPoWriMo.net Day 19 is to write an abecedarian poem, with 26 words in alphabetical order or one having each line following the order of the alphabet. I chose the latter.
Who knew the prompt would lead to a rant?
(So much for following poet Ada Limón’s advice about outrage.)
Letter(s) to Self
After further reflection, Buoyed by false confidence Concocted through a desire to be a team player Despite my own objections, Engagement in this gimmicky form, Formed of alphabetical lines, Gives this verse as evidence of failure,
(Having reached this conclusion: Inspiration be damned) Just as expected from previous experience.
(Knowledge woefully obtained Last time around.) More to the point, Nothing about this exercise Offers any incentive, Particularly given a desire for sanity,
(Quietly muttering to self) Regarding poetic worth. Such is the agony acquired here That a session of therapy may be in order, Unless I can convince myself that this experience, Virtual or otherwise, Will lead to a better understanding of these XXVI alleged reasons to participate in this exercise.
You must understand, by now, my agreement with this:
How long have I been sitting on this branch?
Did I just get here, or am I about to leave?
You know, I don’t particularly mind the flight across the river.
Of course, I’m no starling. I know I can look languid,
rising and falling in flight as I dart along.
After all, there is a view to be admired.
And fish to spy out. There’s one now!
No problem, I’ll get the next one,
but that water sure was refreshing.
Wait, what’s that noise? There, upriver.
It’s that guy in the boat, again.
The one who splashes water on both sides.
What’s with him? Can’t he afford a motor?
It takes him forever to get anywhere.
He’s not just slow. He’s always stopping
to hold that think up to his eye.
But wait, he sees me. Time to dart to the other side.
Oh man, now he’s splashing again.
He’s coming over here now, isn’t he?
You know, he moves a lot faster when that thing is in his lap.
At least he can see where he’s going.
Well, I’m not going to hang around and wait for him.
It’s time to dart downstream. I’ve got fish to catch.
He’s still following me! This is going to be one long morning.