Blood plums smirching the November courtyard again.
I used to spray the blossoms every spring
after that first harvest, munching into worms.
And it worked. The plums were luxurious
but slashed by a natter of lorikeets year after year.
We'd get maybe a dozen ourselves, hardly worth the annoyance.
My father got a tongueful of those maggoty plums
when he was still living, still married to mother,
before he left for his secret woman even younger
than my wife.
It's his voice
rankling now from back when I was twenty-one
in love and left stupid,
“You only told yourself you loved her
so you could get some cheap sex.” That was
the worst he could manage. No booze or bashings, just
“You're a shallow fake,” meaning, “I know
because I'm one too.” Last night I dreamt
I lifted the receiver for a taped message
and there was a spit and bang, the line abruptly silent.
I was astonished I was still alive. Then he
was expounding on “static electricity,”
how the wires were “bristling” because of the screws
he'd put there. But it's morning
and I sweep leaves and plums from the courtyard,
getting accustomed to my life without him. As I said,
letting the plum-tree ripen as it will. A few
worms in the fruit won't bother some.