The first time I read this poem, I read it again. And again. I adore Li-Young Lee. His love of words pours from every line of his writing, and when I read his poems I am swept up in the fervor. Read his words, and then read them again.
published in Rose
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.
Li-Young Lee gave a reading during my last semester as an undergrad, and he also hosted a writers’ workshop afterwards. He read one of my poems during that workshop and offered his comments and even a bit of praise. It was one of the most surreal, proudest moments of my life. I need to read poetry more often. I used to read it almost every day, but I slowly got out of the habit. I used to write poems almost every day as well, but that was before grad school squelched any ounce of creativity I possessed. I want the poet in me to come back. I want the writer in me to come back. “O, to take what we love inside…”