MONTEREY MARKET I
Pumpkins heaped one story high!
As high as the sky!
Pre-schoolers climb the orange
Down again, backward. Feet first, head first, wriggling.
Running between bins of squash
Pink, orange, yellow-green
Yellow and green, pink and orange
Skidaddling among boxes of beans
Black-brown, red, white
White and red, brown and white
Then up the pumpkin pile again.
I choose this one, it’s the BIGGEST.
I want this, IT’S THE most
I NEED this one.
How will you carry it?
I can carry it I’m strong.
Inside, the chaos is the vegetables
All colors, all vying for attention
Pear shaped pears
Red hot peppers
Cool green Collards
MONTEREY MARKET II
Browsing through the apple aisle
I notice a hand written sign
Arkansas Black Apple: Locally grown
I pick one up in astonishment
Indeed, part of it is a red so dark,
It is almost black.
The rest of this apple is red apple color,
A little sunshine yellow.
Is this fruit a metaphor, a simile,
an allegory, or a saga?
Did a family of Dust Bowl migrants from the 30’s bring the seed,
Crossing deserts, mountains, and fording streams in their Model T Ford?
I too am a migrant
But I brought nothing as lasting
As this apple.
I put it in my basket.
Two days later, it’s in the food section of the New York Times
It’s a very trendy heirloom apple
From Arkansas originally
Now grown in California
Well well well
So much for poetry
I eat the apple.
MONTEREY MARKET III
Late October Evening
Outside the Monterey Market, the pumpkin is less high.
A few children, in that whiney mode between school and home,
Try to climb the pile.
Their irritated just home from work parents shout them down
I’m here searching for the perfect
persimmon for a salad
I have no small children, I can take my time.
Just a few left, all bruised and squishy.
The purple and green figs are lying in their beds
Looking gray and sickly.
I take the remaining persimmons, someone has to care for them
At least they don’t whine.
Inside, the market looks dingy.
The arugula, crisp this morning, is wilting.
I hold a leaf, crush it, and sniff what I like to think of
As the aroma of a Mediterranean hill side.
A nice thought, a bit pretentious,
Still, good salad makings.
With a baguette
This is all I need for supper
I try to comfort a mewling child
And go home to my solitary meal