I'm picking an orange from our tree,
searching for just the right one.
It has to feel a bit soft when my fingers
squeeze it but not mushy. A sun
in my hand, warm and round. I twist
it and if it detaches with ease,
I know it will be perfect. It's like
choosing an idea to tease
into a poem. Not all thoughts
are ripe enough, some are too hard,
others are stubborn and refuse
to budge. Forget the ones marred
by bitterness; they aren't worth cutting
into. I leave them to wither and rot.
I want one that turns into a flower
when I slice it open, like when I got
asked to dance, finally, after sitting alone
and I just felt so thankful I could cry.
That's the kind of topic I need. I grab
a rag to wipe up the spills and know why
this common fruit with its bright color
and run-down-your-chin juice
contains all the goodness a writer
needs to turn memories loose.