charles simic | roadside stand

7 08 2010

PoetryDispatch No. 329 | August 8, 2010


In the watermelon and corn season,
The earth is a paradise, the morning
Is a ripe plum or a plump tomato
We bite into as if it were the mouth of a lover.

Despite the puzzled face of the young fellow
In scarecrow overalls reading a comic book,
It’s all there, the bell peppers, the radishes,
Local blueberries and blackberries
That will stain our lips and tongue
As if we were freezing to death in the snow.

The kid is bored, or pretends to be,
While watching the woman pick up a melon
And press its rough skin against her cheek.
What makes people happy is a mystery,
He concludes as he busies himself
Straightening crumpled bills in a cigar box.

[from THE NEW YORKER, July 24, 2000]