EDITOR'S NOTE: Lorraine Walker Williams carries on what she calls a 'conversation in thoughts' between a lady and an orange vendor in 'Forbidden Fruit,' her latest creation for Poetry Place, which appears each Thursday in the Santiva Chronicle.

Forbidden Fruit

I.

Every week I come to his fruit stand,

a fairly sour man with his lemons and

oranges. Choosing an orange,

I roll it in my hand to test for firmness,

hold it to my nose, and sniff

fresh-picked fruit. I avoid chit-chat

savoring the scent. I can almost

taste sun-ripened juice on my tongue,

day-dreaming where orange trees grow.

 

That dress with mock oranges

in the next kiosk just caught my eye.

What an abomination, circling

the hips like a clown costume.

more camouflage than class.

I much prefer my orange scarf

fashionably draped.

 

II.

That woman in her flashy scarf

walks up to my fruit stand every

Tuesday and feels my oranges.

What is she trying to do,

judge with her hands what is inside?

Can’t she see that I have the best

money can buy?

 

III.

In a strange way, the man

at the fruit stand reminds me of

my father. At Christmas, dad

would always place an orange

in my stocking. I would peel

the skin and my fingers,

sticky with juice, would have

the scent of oranges for hours

afterward.

 

IV.

I can’t imagine Miss Sexy Scarf

piercing the orange with her manicured

nails. Juice will not drip from her fingertips,

nor dribble from her luscious lips.

I would like to peel an orange for her,

my fingers touching the round navel,

letting unruly skin scatter on her lap,

raising a crescent of fruit to her lips.

 

She would shiver with pleasure,

juice bursting on her tongue,

sliding down her throat.

Ah, such a moment!

She would turn toward me

in that curvaceous dress

printed with oranges,

her hands offering me

the best fruit, sticky and sweet.

    Lorraine Walker Williams