April’s Curtain Call


  • Natalie Corthésy


I am the last guava left on the tree,
a lopsided stage hacked mid trunk.
The missing branches turned firewood are smoking
someone’s heaven on top and hell below
but the cornmeal pone in the middle will not bless my soul.

The birds have pecked and pecked and pecked
racing worms to a pulpy centre
where my sweet perfume masks decay and the lament of my seedy core.
I will not be handpicked for jam or flaky tarts.
I will not be stoned by children, nor slightly bruised before being bitten blissfully.

The sun shined my skin for weeks
until I was a reflection of her golden globe.
The rain wept with me, lightly
kissing droplets on my withering cheeks.
Now I stand alone patiently waiting for applause.

My own roots will shake me from this limb
and cast me to the ground into a crowd of ants.
Soldiers will retrieve my remains to nourish one of their own;
Queens are not born
they are made.

If clay is willing and nature is kind,
memories of me shall channel through the earth
to nascent stems and lime green leaves to nurse a seedling.
I am last in death and first in life;
the fruit and the tree dancing in the garden pantomime.