The Round Jubilance of Peach

 

Paul Cezanne, Still Life with Peaches and Pears

Summer Food Series

In St. Mary’s County, down near Point Lookout where the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay meet, the Trossbachs have a fruit and vegetable farm. The Southern Maryland farmers are particularly noted locally for their luscious peaches.  The first ones came in this past week, bringing to mind a poem by Li-Young Lee.

My sense is that Lee owes a lot to Mary Oliver, whose poem on wild plums I shared last week.  Sink your teeth into “From Blossoms” and let it carry you into a sensation that is so deep that it banishes death:

From Blossoms

By Li-Young Lee

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

 

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