by P. G. Karamesines
Blake’s angel, for all his winks and nods,
Wouldn’t have it, though it hangs for having:
Drop of down and blush quavering on the rim
Of ripeness, playing at a fall.
Pendant at the tip of a branch astray
From the greater fruited spray
Where sister peaches cluster meekly
Beneath green custom, this one sweet dangle
Trespasses air my side the fence
Where sunlight fires its skin and any breeze
May dance it.
My neighbor who set the tree as start
Is a man of strict authority, armed, invested,
An officer of our active legion laws.
He knows where all the lines are drawn,
Where fences stand, where right leaves wrong,
And keeping his faith good is wise.
Although this juicy prodigal does seem
To trail a gray gulf, he may better know,
And so the peach appears to plump and glow
With consequence, a nectareous world
Ripening on a branch of orchard heaven
Under scrutiny from many angels’ eyes.
Taking such creature to tongue suggests
That becoming as a god by fell choice:
Will birthing, her first cry, Desire;
Light, on which the eye opens suddenly,
That infant slit of lid permitting
The flash from good and evil springing apart
To change the eye forever; then, vision:
Probability, lively, everywhere at once,
Refiguring the garden, reforming
Every place the eye alights each time;
Gleams of possibility sparking like drops
Of dew, infinite, engorged with sudden sun
As far as the eye dares see €”to the stars €”
And, clinging to skin, so wet and cool,
Instant thoughts of nakedness
Blush the body and Will seeks clothing,
Her prior choicelessness seeming comfort now,
If unfitting, and inaccessible as the opened womb.
Such first physics infusing All and Now,
Poised to go at breath, I too partake. So:
Day by day shall the peach hang unmolested.
With its toys of luster it shall bob and sway
Till summer drops its sun, till it is swept
From splendor by timeliness or wind,
Or till he whose lawful peach it is
Decides its fate by his own hand.
Published in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (Fall 2005): 178. “The Peach” won Dialogue’s €œBest of the Year Award € in poetry for that year.
One thought on “The Peach”
In follow-up to the story this poem tells:
So I chose to let the peach alone, as the poem says. After all, I was new in the neighborhood. A few days later I was out talking to my neighbor, a verteran Utah Highway Patrolman, across the aforementioned fence. Having no idea at all of my days-long inner debate over that peach, he picked it and handed it to me. I can’t remember what I did with it. I think I might have given it to my son or husband.
As it turned out, engaging in this early act of extended friendship was the actual peach, well worth the wait. To this day I am grateful for all the peaches this man shared in loving kindness toward me and my family. I trace the origins of our close friendship to this peach incident.