Posts Tagged ‘gooseberry’

Gooseberry Picking

They are not quite ripe, the gooseberries

growing behind Christie’s house,

but I pick them anyway and pop

the prickling pink globes

between my tongue

and the roof of my mouth,

oh sour round rush of surprise,

and I am a girl again, not quite ripe,

living in a country where I don’t speak the language

wandering the edge of the woods of the north

with a family that isn’t my own.

The mother, who later will shun me, shows me

how to pick and eat the gooseberries,

a fruit I have never seen before.

I learn to love them that instant,

something I can immediately translate with my tongue—

the marriage of sweet and terribly tart,

a flavor I know already by heart.

Greedy, greedy, my hands in a hurry,

I pull the gooseberries behind Christie’s house

into my mouth as if feeding the memory

of a longing to understand,

feeding it so I can better untangle its tethers

before the memory disappears again.

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