National Poetry Month: Kiwi


May Swenson is a beloved poet claimed by Cache Valley, and is lauded as one of the most important poets of the 20th Century.

Kiwi by May Swenson

Fruit without a stone, its shiny
pulp is clear green. Inside, tiny
black microdot seeds. Skin
the color of khakiImagine
a shaggy brown-green pelt
that feels like felt.
It’s oval, full-rounded, kind
of egg-shaped. The rind
comes off in strips
when peeled with the lips.
If ripe, full of juice,
melon-sweet, yet tart as goose-
berry almost. A translucent ring
of seed dots looks something
like a coin-slice of banana. Grown
in the tropics, some stone
fruits, overlarge, are queerly
formed. A slablike pit nearly
fills the mango. I
scrape the fibrous pulp off with my
teeth. That slick round ball
in avocado (fruit without juice) we call
alligator pear:
Plant this seedpit with care
on three toothpicks over a glass
of water. It can come to pass
in time, that you’ll see
an entire avocado tree.
Some fruits have stones, some seeds.
Papaya’s loaded with slimy black beads.
Some seem seedlesslike quince
(that makes your tastebuds wince.)
Persimmon will
be sour, astringent ‘until
dead ripe,’ they say. Behind
pomegranate’s leathery rind,
is a sackful of moist rubies. Pear,
cantaloupe, grapefruit, guava keep their
seeds hidden, as do raspberry, strawberry,
pineapple. Plum, peach and cherry
we know as fruits with big
seedstones. And fig?
Its graininess is seed. Hard to believe
is prickly durian. It’s custard
sweetand smells nasty.
But there’s no fruit as tasty,
as odd, or as funny
none
as fresh-off-the-vine New Zea-
land kiwi.

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