In Praise of Bananas
How many years, tears and lives have I wasted wishing to be the thirst-quenching beer that might make me reached for, sipped or clutched? And when that failed, to be the smelling salt, last chance or wake-up call for some sorry soul? I have nursed potential, rubbed the skinned knees of another’s psyche as though my marinating in the pain of another cures anyone.
I have blamed father and mother.
I have blamed husband and lover.
Yet it was me who left myself
flailing on the floor.
I have chastised myself in the mirror, turned away my own sorrow telling my needs to go. I should have showered in joy, should have accepted the process of my own ripening. Instead, I was an unpeeled banana in a fruit bowl. I wasted time memorizing the lines of palms hovering overhead saying “pick me,” as my skin was grazed or bruised. I turned wandering fingertips into Gods I needed to understand as though each fingerprint was a riddle requiring me to solve.
I have tracked the flick of wrists to determine when to hide under apples and pears and when to hang over the edge so I’d be caught.
Enough with coloring. Enough with placement and posturing. I’m done pretending to be as loud and bright as a lemon or as tangy as a tangerine. So what if I am long and squishy? Who cares if my peel is not as tight or deep as that of a plum?
I love my versatility. I can be sweet or nutritious, used as an accent or devoured whole. Hot or cold I am useful all day.
I am old enough to strip away the layers, wise enough to nurture the center and tend to the bruises.
I am still now. I linger in solitude. The fragrance of my soul answers only to the air.