How to Savour a Favourite Memory
by Graham Wood
Mandarins bring my grandmother back every time,
standing with her by the old house in winter sunlight
sharing the first fruit I can remember. Four years old,
I’d wrestled it moments before from the huge tree
in the chook yard as she held me up towards it,
one of many plump tangerine disks
bobbing overhead against a sea of green.
She rolled the peel off deftly with her fingers, turning it on the point
of one thumb into large orange scoops of rind, stripping each pod
free of its pulpy strings. Then it was there! A burst of sweetness
on my tongue, elemental, never before anything like this.
Half a century dead my grandmother now,
inhabiting the long sweet breath of memory.
In spite of the decades that have vanished,
every time I peel and savour this favoured fruit
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