“Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June.” ~ Al Bernstein
Hello there, Cutie Pies.
Happy June! We’re kicking off the summer with some sweet strawberry love.
There’s nothing more beautiful or tempting than a bowl of juicy, fragrant berries. You do like them, don’t you? Strawberry lovers are considered, “health conscious, fun-loving, intelligent and happy.” Non-lovers = “weird, boring, stuffy — picky eaters who avoid healthy foods.” No, that couldn’t be you.
Love the deep red color and all those tiny seeds — did you know each is actually an ovary and considered a separate fruit?
Last weekend, the mustached one and I braved the heat and humidity to check out the Strawberry Festival in Delaplane, Virginia. What’s a little weird is that Delaplane isn’t in a big strawberry-producing area — they have to import strawberries from California to feed the estimated 10,000 people who attend. I guess if you’re busy going on hayrides, playing field games, listening to music, watching puppet shows, browsing craft tables, checking out the peanut roasting machine and petting farm animals, you can work up a big appetite.
No shortage of strawberry sundaes or strawberry shortcake or strawberry jams. I’m thinking death by strawberry (second only to death by chocolate, of course), wouldn’t be a bad way to go. Or would it? Atlanta-based poet Diana Anhalt has something to say about that.
Diana: I was at a dinner party in Mexico City — where I lived for many years — sitting at the end of a very long table — about 18 people — when I heard someone say, “Una fresa la mató,” i.e., “A strawberry killed her.” I quickly made my way to the other end of the table to eavesdrop. Apparently, an allergy to strawberries can be fatal. Nope. I didn’t know her.”
Death by Strawberry
by Diana Anhalt
The color red can kill you,
something in the pigment,
but I’d prefer being done in by strawberries–
a quality fruit — than by tomatoes
or, God forbid, a jelly roll.
I see myself plunging my hand into a tin bucket,
seizing a strawberry by the stem,
and dangling it above my mouth,
juice sticky on my fingertips like blood,
and sinking my teeth into perfumed flesh:
The cold explodes on my palate like a scream,
stings my lips,
crinkles my tongue,
stains my teeth.
My throat closes around it.
I swallow the sun.
Yes, a red death I can believe in. But to go tamely,
my executioner the color gray, for example.
That would be inconceivable.
Posted by permission, copyright © 2012 Diana Anhalt. All rights reserved.*
Tasty poem, no? Ah, the fruit of love — intense, passionate, worth dying for. It’s going to be a long, hot summer. Maybe you’d better have a few more.
Carol at Carol’s Corner is hosting this week’s Roundup. Please take her a pint or two of strawberries and check out all the mouthwatering poems being served up in the blogosphere. Ooh-la-la, I’ll be hosting Poetry Friday next week!
* “Death by Strawberry” was previously published in Haz Mat (Volume 5 Issue 1), in Daybreak (March 1999), and can also be found online at Your Daily Poem.
Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.