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Lexington Poetry Month
The Case for Eating Oranges
article by
Kathleen Gregg

I slice the navel orange
into halves, quarters, eighths.
My front teeth pull
the cold pulp from the peel.
Tart sweet juice spurts
onto my tongue.  The overflow
is sticky on my fingers, drizzles
down my chin.  My lips press

into every inch of the fruit,
and I try not to think
of some Chevy Silverado driving
through a Florida citrus grove;
masked migrant workers balanced
on the truck bed, spraying
pesticides on the leaves
and hanging fruit – to ensure
a profitable yield.  I try not to imagine
how that residue might be charging
through my body’s chemistry,
changing it.

Flavor wins over fear, my friends.
A lifetime of eating poison-tainted
oranges isn’t so alarming.  Maybe,
in the long run, it will have saved me
a few less days of over-ripeness
and rot when I dangle
in a nursing home, waiting
for the inevitable drop.

8 responses to “The Case for Eating Oranges”

  1. Larry Wheeler says:

    You are spoiling us.I now have a food-porn habit. “Flavor wins over fear”…words to live by.

  2. Edelweiss Meadows-Millstone says:

    Great poem!

  3. That’s it Kathleen, you have the solution to the growing Medicare crisis. The Nuclear Orange Option. Except we will have to make it mandatory. I have said this before, when I told my wife I want a big bottle of pills and a fifth of bourbon if anybody says I need to go to a nursing home, she said, “No way I want your social security money. Your hanging on as long as we can stretch it out.” Maybe she won’t notice if I start eating a lot of oranges.

  4. Debbie Cooper says:

    Nice one Kathleen – Personally, I think fear is overrated.

  5. Oranges were the only treat allowed in my home growing up. Perhaps a plan laid down by a loving mother who knew I would dread the very thought of a nursing home?

    by the way– it is written beautifully

  6. Kathleen Gregg says:

    Love all your feedback, everyone!!

  7. Catherine Perkins says:

    I love this poem! You went, cleverly, deliciously, sensually, to where I have tried to go but never could get there.

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