Thursday, May 29, 2014

Peach Swung In the Vernacular, Day After Maya Died

"Do I dare to eat a peach?"
-T.S. Eliot, The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock

[to Maya Angelou and those who loved her]

go ahead on and eat that peach, Mr. Eliot
it's clear you've been away too long
from all the Peach Streets of America

and those old orchards raining their thick golden rains
it's positively Providential:it's our
hard turning of the ice cream stile;

we make our own miracles with the help of Sweet Jesus.
my oh my my my
peachalicious-charming in her Sunday hat

her caftans, gowns, long strands of beads
was she was all that and more?
whisper the children with round surprise

in their church silk voices.
every day of the week she's gone now,
from our small town.

I'll never sit down to her caramel cake
a fantasy of mine on my dessertless days.
it wasn't her poems that mattered the most

just like it wasn't the peach that really mattered to T.S.
it was the goldenness in her oozing out in a voice,
a dusky goldenness, a dark lily shining

insisting you notice something - Life!
and sit up straight.
a voice fit for Shakespeare's queens, a tragedienne's dream

but she wasn't that.
she stirred up- something -
everywhere she went and now, she's spent-

Red crayon, out of the box
her smile like a huge valentine-volcano.
her voice like dark pearls spilling over

beyond the reach of the low flyers always
daring, Mr. Eliot,
to eat that peach,

why don't you ask, for so many more-

mary angela douglas 29 may 2014;rev. 12 june 2014