Friday, May 14, 2010

Memory: Five for Ten

Serenade

In brown-skinned summers,
You and I, sun-stung
From looking for tomato bugs
Would run to the rickety ice-house
Where Grandpa would teach us
The secret of watermelons.

Dappled-skinned melons were best.
Grandpa would squint, study, pluck
Only the choicest of suspects,
Rap his gnarled knuckles hard--
Knocking.
Knocking for secrets, seeking the sweet.

Crouch-down anxious, we'd wait
As Grandpa clicked his pocketknife,
Cutting hard circle
Into innocent flesh.
His foolproof method only failed twice,
Yielding dry melons
He fails to remember.

Sunset. Drugged with heat and dust,
We bit into crimson--
Let it bleed down our arms, bugs be damned,
Spit seeds into the evening
Shooting at the gray goose that hissed,
Extra points if we plundered backside.
I loved you then.

Sometimes, over your second
Gin and tonic of the evening,
You will throw your head back, laughing
Pearly picket-fence teeth bared,
And for an instant, I see the girl
Of our watermelon summers
Knocking.

~TKW

51 comments:

  1. Powerful words, Kitchen Witch. Every time I read one of your posts I'm more and more impressed.

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  2. Lovely poem. Aren't childhood watermelons the sweetest?

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  3. So bittersweet. You truly capture the melancholy that comes with memory and missing what was. A beautiful poem.

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  4. This was great! Many of my watermelon memories involve ants. :)

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  5. "His foolproof method only failed twice,
    Yielding dry melons
    He fails to remember."

    You made me think of my grandpa with this part. Is it a universal trait that grandfathers are infallible (at least in their own minds)?

    This is a beautiful poem, and a beautiful memory. And it makes me want watermelon. ;)

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  6. So, so beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

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  7. I wasn't there, but it felt like I was. You've conjured such beautiful imagery, especially of family, that even if I wasn't there, I want to be.

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  8. What a heartfelt and bittersweet post...excellent work.

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  9. Beautiful, I love this. I can see the juice running down your arms.

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  10. Wow...I'm so impressed with people who can write poetry! Seriously! This is lovely.

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  11. This was lovely. Absolutely lovely.

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  12. A really nice post, and mother nature's art is beyond compare.

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  13. Absolutely stunning! I loved this glimpse into your childhood.

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  14. Beautiful. I'm in awe. You are one talented girl!

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  15. I am so glad to meet you through Five for Ten. Beautiful. I love the line Pearly picket-fence teeth bared. Thank You.

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  16. Lovely! And you still tie it in with food so seamlessly! Memory and taste so often go hand in hand.

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  17. Love it. This is truly spectacular. Such a great memory, great writing.

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  18. Oh, Kitch. My heart is seizing for you and your sister.

    (((TKW)))

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  19. What a contrast to your "courage" post. Well, not necessarily a contrast, but a sequel. Lovely, truly lovely.

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  20. After reading this I feel the need to send a hug your way.

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  21. Amazing. You are really amazing. xo

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  22. How do you do this? Write so effortlessly and beautifully? And I felt the water melon dripping down my arm--the memory is delicious. Your writing delectable. Now I get it. You write therefor you cook. Or is it the other way around?

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  23. Beautiful and amazing and powerful and wonderful and sad and hopeful. Love it.

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  24. Beautiful. Crouch-down anxious..awesome.

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  25. My mouth is watering. For real. Yum.

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  26. Wow, TKW. What a poem. What a postlogue to your earlier story about your sister. This is courageous, too, and beautiful.

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  27. Ha! Spitting seeds at the goose!

    There are few things better than cold, refreshing watermelon on a hot summer day.

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  28. Beautifully written, I can picture that summer day, the heat and the watermelon juice running down your arms so clearly. Just lovely.

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  29. Beautifully written. I'm in awe that not only can you write kick ass prose, but you rock poetry too. You are incredible girl!

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  30. Could you be any more talented, lady? No? Oh, okay. I didn't think so.

    This poem - like that perfect watermelon - is delicious. Thank you for sharing it.

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  31. Wow, I am so blown away by this poem and your talent to capture this memory in such a visceral, raw way. I feel so connected to your struggle with your sister.

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  32. So beautiful, TKW! I love poems about summer as a kid. They seem to capture a certain magic you only feel as a kid.

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  33. I love that there is a heart in your watermelon. Very fitting. It's like I'm standing right beside you as your grandpa cuts into that juicy watermelon. Beautiful poem.

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  34. Incredible read...
    so many little bits that I would bet so many of us could relate to... just the eating watermelon, what an incredible childhood memory.
    (and the rest is a little mind blowing...)

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  35. TKW,

    Heartbreakingly beautiful. The imagery, the words, the emotions barely captured with the limits that words impose.

    Sending you hugs, friend. Just beautiful...

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  36. Is there anything you can't write? Anything you can't capture and express with a cluster of choice-picked words?

    So beautiful and bittersweet.

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  37. Quite a poem, TKW. Vivid imagery, and I like the switch to the present day sister with the different type of knocking she will do. Really beautiful.

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  38. Beautiful, a poem I understand, the picture is mind blowing...just for you perhaps

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  39. You captured the moment. Similar ones we've all shared. You put it into a poem this time. Amazing.

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  40. Wonderful. I stumbled onto your blog through Momamlon and I can't wait to hear more from you.

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  41. sun-stung is my favorite new phrase...I love the alliteration and imagery evoked here.

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  42. "I loved you then"

    Makes me sad

    xoxoxo

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  43. Just beautiful—so evocative.

    It reminded me of stealing tomatoes with my friends from this garden that had the most amazing tomatoes that even ten year old boys would want them. We ate them, sweet and dark red, with salt.

    Hadn't thought of that for years and years, until your poem hooked it and brought it back to the surface.

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  44. i love poetry and appreciate it so much mostly because i have no talent for it whatsoever. the particular poem struck a chord with me because watermelon love is something i share with my grandpa as well! i'll forever associate the pulpy red stuff with a sprinkle of salt, juice running down my chin and arms, seed-spitting, and grandpa. :)

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  45. I wonder. Would you ever ever ever put this in an envelope, stamp it, and send it? Would you ever?

    Because it is lovely. As are you. And this memory. And those melons. Bittersweet (and yet still sweet).

    :)

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  46. This was so beautiful. And I second Sarah's sentiments. It could only be more beautiful in your own hand writing in the hands of the person who needs to read it the most.

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  47. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

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