The Elwood Organic Fruit and Vegetable Shop


I will go walking in Elwood with my mind as smooth as a marrow
winking at the unruffled sky throwing its light down for free
letting the gardens exude their well-groomed scents and thinking everything good
to the Elwood Organic Fruit and Vegetable Shop:
for the counter is democratically in the centre and everyone smiles
for people go on with the civil business of buying and selling under the
handwritten notices
for bawling children are solaced with grapes and handled to leave no bruises
for the mangoes are soft yellow thighs and the strawberries are klaxons of
for the mignonette purses its frilly lips and snowpeas pout their discreet bellies
and the melons hug their quirky shapes under their marvellous rinds
for onions ringing their coppery globes and o the silver shallots and the hairy
trumpets of leeks
for the cabbages folding crisp linens and the broccolis blooming in purple
tulles and the dense green skirts of lettuces
for peaches like breasts of angels and passionfruits hard and dark and
bursting with seed in your palm
for the dull gold flesh of pontiacs and knotty umbers of yams and new
potatoes like the heels of babies
for the tubs of sweet william and heart-lifting freesias and orchids damp and
beautiful as clitoral kisses
for poignant basil and maiden-haired fennel and prim blue-lipped rosemary
and o! irrepressible mint!
how they nestle up to the vegetables, promising them the fragrance of their
the marriages which await them! the lips that moisten to meet them!
glorious speech of the earth!

from The Common Flesh: Poems 1980-2002 (Arc Publications, 2003), © Alison Croggon 2003, used by permission of the author

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