Watermelon Memory

Watermelons are in the stores again. I saw some today, large rafts of watermelons looking confidently variegated. They know they’re all about the mystery. Schroedinger’s fruit, both sweet and not, ripe and not, until opened. I could smell peaches too but I was after other things — yogurt, bread, soup — so the watermelons and peaches had to wait.

So what’s the point? Just that I like the word watermelon. Also rainbow, piano, and river. Peace is a good word, but arguably subjective, inconclusive. Watermelon is a faithful, unambiguous, and explicit word. It means what it is and it sits in the mouth just long enough to make its point.

Watermelon is a memory word for me, like fireworks or campout, thought not laden as Christmas. When I remember watermelon, I think of a poem I read in the 1970s, called Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle. Which I’ve never had, I think; only fresh for me, thanks.

During that summer–
Which may never have been at all;
But which has become more real
Than the one that was–
Watermelons ruled.

And here’s my take on the topic of watermelon memory, a repost from a few years back. I like this poem. The person addressed is not my child, by the way; I have none. This is a personal poem, nonetheless.



Child, if you care to remember
this world, this life
you dream like a path
of certain distance quickly
walked and centered on a hill,
if you care to open it like
watermelon in summer
or like a prayer box
bearing a constellation of crosses
and sunsets, I hope
you consider your father,
his overtures to death,
his music, and like sunlight
through the sprinkler
on a simple greening lawn,
his smile.


This post from a few years ago seems complimentary.
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Watermelon by Kyle Kimberlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.