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
L
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;
while
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
leaves,
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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