Evie Shockley

apples and oranges:                 an allegory

i was always an apple person, myself.
the variety! golden delicious,
the dark, deep red delicious, granny white, russet.
sweetsweetsweetsweet sweet sweet sweet!
bite in and let the juices commence to dribbling!
oranges? if you’ve seen one orange,
you’ve seen em all, i always said.
some of them have thicker skins than others,
but thick or thin, that white-orange rind has got to go
before you get to anything you can use.
i’d peeled a couple oranges in my day,
just for the acid change of pace.
suck – pucker – not yucky, but too tart for me!
so i’m on the lookout for a good apple, okay,
a really good one,
a you-ain’t-had-no-apple-like-this apple.
and find myself with an orange.
now, it’s not what you’re thinking.
i had not searched high and low for a good apple.
i had not been around the world trying to find a good apple.
i had not given up all hope of ever putting my hands
on a good apple.
some of my friends had damn good apples,
and i knew where they got em
and i knew there were more where those came from.
i was figuring i’d stumble upon a good apple any minute.
so when i pick up this orange
i’m not just dying for any ole fruit.
but it’s there, round and bright,
and when i squeeze it, i can feel the juices
just beneath the surface.
i figure i’ll peel it – what the hell!
maybe it’ll be sweet,
one of those rare honey-sunshine oranges,
and i’ll be glad i took the time.
it is a damn good orange.
the kind of orange you have to take slow,
section by section.
i’m still working on that orange.
now, it’s not what you’re thinking.
i’m still an apple person, myself.
an apple person who knows that
all oranges are not alike.
there’s some
like apples.

Evie Shockley
Poem, copyright © 2004 by Evie Shockley
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2004, From the Fishouse