May Swenson (May 28, 1913 – December 4, 1989 / Utah)
Fruit without a stone, its shiny
pulp is clear green. Inside, tiny
black microdot seeds. Skin
the color of khakiImagine
a shaggy brown-green pelt
that feels like felt.
It's oval, full-rounded, kind
of egg-shaped. The rind
comes off in strips
when peeled with the lips.
If ripe, full of juice,
melon-sweet, yet tart as goose-
berry almost. A translucent ring
of seed dots looks something
like a coin-slice of banana. Grown
in the tropics, some stone
fruits, overlarge, are queerly
formed. A slablike pit nearly
fills the mango. I
scrape the fibrous pulp off with my
teeth. That slick round ball
in avocado (fruit without juice) we call
Plant this seedpit with care
on three toothpicks over a glass
of water. It can come to pass
in time, that you'll see
an entire avocado tree.
Some fruits have stones, some seeds.
Papaya's loaded with slimy black beads.
Some seem seedlesslike quince
(that makes your tastebuds wince.)
be sour, astringent 'until
dead ripe,' they say. Behind
pomegranate's leathery rind,
is a sackful of moist rubies. Pear,
cantaloupe, grapefruit, guava keep their
seeds hidden, as do raspberry, strawberry,
pineapple. Plum, peach and cherry
we know as fruits with big
seedstones. And fig?
Its graininess is seed. Hard to believe
is prickly durian. It's custard
sweetand smells nasty.
But there's no fruit as tasty,
as odd, or as funny
as fresh-off-the-vine New Zea-
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