Friday afternoon and the highway beckons,
but despite my impatience to be on my way
I am lured off the road –
by a cardboard sign on a dusty ute,
its block lettering as irresistible as any siren song –
Now a brimming box,
overflowing with plump crimson baubles,
the first of this rain-blessed spring,
sits on the seat beside me.
And, unable to stop,
I fill my mouth again and again –
the slippery-smooth skin on my tongue,
in almost apologetic anticipation of the piercing
that brings the juices flowing, sweet and sharp,
until finally, flesh torn and sucked away,
only the hard stone remains,
to be spat out the window –
(and oh, the joy of a clean shot,
that bounces smartly from the side mirror)
before I reach for another….
…until the first slight churning in my belly reminds me,
that all pleasures must be paid for,
all excesses will exact their punishment.
But, helpless against the seduction of their glossy crimson,
I reach again into the box, for just one more…
I love cherry season. It starts mid-November – and I find it almost impossible to drive past a ute with a CHERRIES sign on it. Certainly couldn’t resist it today. Gorging must be done while the short, proper cherry season lasts, as defined by the presence of utes from the cherry orchards near Young, not the dragged-out season of sorry cool-room supermarket cherries.
I don’t think there is anything better than pulling onto the highway, with a box of cherries on the seat next to me and Life is a Highway blaring from the stereo as I spit the pits out the window. It would be nice if the driver’s side window on my car still worked, but I’m getting pretty good at getting them out the passenger side. And my husband is learning not to lean forward. Although now and then my daughter gets him from behind.