An Unrhymed Sonnet

The Mason jars are prepped; the pectin’s hot;
and orphaned berries plucked from far and wide
weep juice in bowls and plates and wait their turn
to be preserved—this season’s sweetest thing.

Some goes bad before it can be sold,
while others never make it to the floor
or shelf; a few expire, some just get old;
and others go on sale or get returned.

From dusty boxes stored away, they break
the wax to taste the jam and silver spoons
disturb the sticky skin; this sample takes a bit
by bit away, takes something out of it,

but that’s the game. Let none be bound for land-
fill’s waste; still, there’s no accounting for taste.

4 thoughts on “An Unrhymed Sonnet

  1. I was recently asked to provide a text for what “home” means to me. Below are the first two replies; the above is the third, which is properly cryptic (not so much for us here, I’d wager), and I like how it may be “obvious” to adoptees and wholly unobvious to non-adoptees (or would get read simply as a piece of “man’s inhumanity to man”).

    Do you have any artistic responses arising specifically out of the experience of adoption you would want to post? I’d want to see them.

    Home is what some others have, he’s heard
    it’s hearth and heart; he hears it’s neither hurt
    nor hut on fowl’s legs hustled up from foul earth;
    he’s held it had as truth that home’s not wreath
    or wart, or wear of house and hole; beneath
    it all, the floorboard rot; above it all,
    toward all things bored and boardinghouse; a hall
    of harts, whose disembodied heads look on,
    or echo-wrecks of horse-stalls now gone long.
    This home is what he’s never really envied,
    even when he tries; he holds the hu-
    mid earth in hand and hands himself a hu-
    man sky—and there, a squalling squirrel is treed,
    her home-made acorn home made down with greed.

    He must have been a bargain, two for one;
    his childless parents, screwed by spermless hurl,
    had scruples not so much to buy a son
    as nineteen months before acquire a girl
    as well but paid the agent once his fees.
    What cruel ingratitude to call such thrift
    and bargain-hunting theft; the felonies
    involved involve instead this too-short shrift
    shown such rich love as knows no (moral) limit.
    Where trafficks cruse so trafficked jams will stack;
    the glass doors crack with boundless Xmas spirit
    and rush-hours rush to grab boy Friday black,
    the currant gem, vogue’s marmalade. This crush
    of love acquired—O god, what a sweet rush!

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I wish I had your confidence to do so. I’ve written some prose poems that come from my experiences upon return, but…I’m not ready to share them yet [I’ll explain in yet another new post] for a variety of reasons. I think the earliest reference I might have made to adoption was in a Mother’s Day card I wrote to my adoptive mother. It began: “I was found/adrift amongst reeds/no God-child this….” Looking back, it is pretty astounding as an expression. It describes my physical difference from my siblings, it kind of denies any “specialness” to myself, it voices an acknowledgment of having two mothers, it expresses my love and affection for my adoptive mom. It was well-received in the family; but it didn’t lead to anything beyond that; it was an aberration. It pains me now for how willingly it dismissed my mother here in Lebanon, but such is the colonized mind/fog of the adoptee. It speaks of my ability to communicate with my adoptive mom more than my adoptive father. I wrote a lot of other stuff when I was young, but the adoption aspect was completely abstracted and made into metaphor. Like wind-born thistledown that “pushes up weeds”. And that kind of thing. Kind of painful to remember as well as to recount….

Adoptees, what do you think? We welcome your replies!

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