Orange: Poems Inspired by Color

Photo by Lisa on

I hate to waste things. The peanut butter jar is nearly empty? I’ll get the spatula and clean it out. (Makes it easier to wash out before recycling!) Have a few heels of bread? I’ll finish them off for breakfast. Is there a soft spot on that orange? I’ll cut it out and eat the rest. I’m also the guy who works the very last bit of toothpaste out of the tube, nearly spraining my thumbs to push that last ounce out onto my toothbrush. Do I need help?

This tendency of mine led to my “orange” poem. What this says about me, you must judge. It’s time for an Orange Reckoning.

Orange Reckoning

Vincent H. Anastasi - 2021

The fresh bag of Cara Cara oranges opened,
the citrus sunset suns roll out
into the heavy cardboard box.
I finger them, lightly squeezing,
inspecting each for imperfections:
discoloring, soft spots, or mold.
Among the dozen or so ripe fruits,
a rotten globe spins,
threatening to disturb
the wholesome universe
awaiting eventual consumption.

Yet I cannot discard these spoils,
these missives of mutability,
fruits of my own labor,
though I did not plant,
tend, nor harvest this crop.
They moved from display to cart
to car to cardboard box
in the basement until finally eaten.

Gently, then, I remove them
from their salubrious peers,
carry them up the cellar stairs
to the unfinished kitchen
where I cut away the offending decay
and savor the succulent piquance
of thrift.

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