Paw Paw

Oh, sweet custard-apple, cherimoya, sweetsop,
ylang-ylang and soursop. (Flower o’ the banango
Love for us all, and her own death for each!)

That wild banana of the prairie bottomlands, lush
ady dipped in mud, her red-purple burnished swirls,
delicious and succulent, in Spring her stout, hairy,

axillary peduncles – clusters of color sway, breezy;
she hides her beauty in those yellow tits she heaves,
a fruit so sensual her lips touch my pulpy life;

around her those elderly gentlemen of the forest,
slow oaks and hickories,
embellish her thick skirts;
she waits in her clearing bunched in and willing,

and, they stand there forlorn, hoping and tempted
by her new dress all shaped to Autumn’s maroon;

yet, in that burst of flowering heat she scents us

all with that rotten meat of a grungy odoriferous
persuasion, that from her own wit calls down
those blow flies and carrion beetles by the thousands;

and, of course those others woo her too: raccoons,
gray foxes, opossums, squirrels, and black bears:
all pay her tribute; while others, rabbits, deer, goats,

and, even roaming insects find her disagreeable-smelling
twigs, and bark just a tad too primal an appreciation;
and, yet she does in that time of spawning have one suitor,

the Zebra Swallowtail, most honored guest who wafts
among her smelly leaves like a masked man in disguise,
cocooning and growing wise among her green life

till that black and white zebra tide emerges in her care.
But now till mid-September I’ll taste her spoilable flesh,
that pale yellow custard, a little wood tang – wild and sweet.

– Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited

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