Mary MacRae’s second collection
published Aug 10 by Second Light Publications. See order form (pdf file) for discount offers
Need help with travel to Second Light events? See Second Light Mary MacRae ‘Access to Poetry’ Fund
Round 10, Month 4: Our judge this month is Hylda Sims. Her winning poet is Nicola Warwick, with her poem You hated those plums. Her four commended poems are by Dorothy Baird, Maggie Butt, Hilaire, and Anne Ryland.
They frightened you, the plums
I bought; the blood-raw hue,
foreign skin, the wet
of the edges where I cut one open
and displayed it like two chambers
of a heart. Forgive me –
I didn’t mean to kickstart
your tension headache.
I was at home with them –
of skinning knees as I climbed
the tree to pick them.
I should not have played that trick
and peeled one, cold from the fridge,
while, eyes closed, you held out your palm
so you thought you were nursing
an eyeball. Wide-eyed, you caught
the stains on my hands
as if I were Lady Macbeth.
I’m so very sorry. I can’t explain –
I’ll go now and buy apples,
a punnet of peaches, or chance you
with a mango, you new soul,
you greenhorn, you remarkable fruit virgin.
Poem published: Iota 89, May 2011
I loved this poem for its wry, dark humour, for its sly parody on William Carlos Williams’ ‘This is Just to Say’. It’s a revelation of how much we depend on our eyes to accompany touch. There are some great phrases like ‘nursing an eyeball’, ‘you remarkable fruit virgin’, and I enjoyed the ‘skinning knees’ versus the ‘peeled’ plum.