HPN

Click Page 40

Poetry of Issue #7        Page 40

A SORT OF RIPENING

Myrtle's in the fruit section sorting through melons, cantaloupes mostly, mid-February when she feels a warm one with a power cord attached to where its stem used to be but nowhere on the cord's a switch, just a plug on the end for the receptacle and now she thumps the cantaloupe, sounds right, sniffs it, smells ripe and so she tosses it in her cart and I can tell by the twitch in her shoulder, you see I'm right behind her, fingering grapes, she can't wait to get this baby home and plug it in and I cannot wait either so we're now in her kitchen where she plugs it in: nothing, not a thing, no lighting up, no ballooning up, no hum, no crackle of seeds inside, for one moment back in the store she thought to herself it might be a novelty radio like her lobster telephone and elephant fridge but no, so she gets out a knife to cut it up and after each stroke, the knife blade gets sharper, a sharpness you can see with your naked eye and when the knife begins cutting all by itself, she yanks out the plug and sticks the knife back in the knife drawer and goes off cantaloupes at least until they're in season.

  Charles Springer