With friends out of town,
she acquired their allotment from the co-op,
Bags and bags of vegetables and fruit, too much
for one alone to eat before the natural sugars conspired
Unsure of how to keep them,
she thought of the W.C. Williams poem
Those plums ‘were delicious, so sweet, and so cold ‘
The decision was made to chill
the slightly overripe delights.
Considering the plums that Williams wrote,
a minor fixation developed.
Concerned about bruising,
she arranged them in egg cartons,
then checked them daily for deterioration.
Round and plump,
they seemed happy with her ministering.
She was not oblivious to the connection.
I ask you, who could eat plums
that show such appreciation?
Alas, even with love
there is aging and there is not a lot of information
about saving such splendor. Thank you, Lord,
for Wiki How To. It said: When infused with Vodka
even old plums bloom.
The better the brand, the better the fruit,
so she Googled. Yamskaya seemed a bit pompous
for her precious plums. Black Onyx, though lovely,
was somewhat somber. By then, already a little fuzzy
(or was that the plums?)
she stumbled upon Wheatley. Regal,
but unpretentious with its American heritage,
it was slightly spicy and oh, so satisfying. It went down smooth,
then begged another sip, and then another. It wasn’t long
before both she and the plums were stewed
and the poetry acquired a new bloom.
written after reading Of Plums and Iceboxes by Sadie Stein
The Paris Review, August 27, 2015
(editorial suggestion…enjoy the plums, avoid the vodka)