Friday, August 17, 2007

Tsuki to ume

Or, as Basho would have said if he'd grown up in North Portland: Moon and plum.

It seems like such a peaceful thing to have in the yard. A plum tree; white with plum blossoms in spring, heavy with somnolent purple fruit in high summer, drifts of sickle-shaped plum leaves on the ground in fall. Friendly low branches for small people to climb into. Ripe, sweet fruit to eat...
...or to throw...
But then there's the night you go out into the backyard and the swarms of fruit flies rise from the ground like the undead in a vampire movie or like realtors off the cash bar at a Republican congressional fundraiser. You gaze in horror at the ground where smashed plums lie in varying stages of decay like Deadites from Army of Darkness.

You smile a sickly little grin, cry for your wife and helpmeet and your beloved child and begin to load the dead cart with plums. All right, you purple screwheads...this...is...my...wheelbarrow!.
The compost bins, mind you, are already weeping purple juice they contain so many plums. It's getting impossible to keep the flies down round them. The thought of more... So the alternative is...plum burial.
--
Yep. I dug a shallow grave out by the potato bed and dumped them in their own little plum landfill. Now safe in a ditch they bide, food for worms.
Faster, son, faster. More plums are falling even now.

2 comments:

atomic mama said...

RIP, plums.

SBird said...

Ahhhhhh, those last two lines. Very Basho-esque. Also, answers in a way your night terror question.

Lovely lines.