“Love Song with Plum” by Diane Lockward

Diane Lockward


I take what he offers, a plum,
round and plump,
deeper than amethyst purple.
I lift the fruit from his palm.
Like Little Jack Horner, I want it in a pie,
my thumb stuck in to pluck
out that plum.
I want it baked in a pudding,
served post-prandial,
drenched in something potable,
and set on fire, to sit across from him and say, Pass
the pudding, please.
Spread on our morning toast, dollops of plum preserves,
and when we grow old, a bowl of prunes,
which, after all, are nothing more than withered plums.
But today the air is scented with plumeria,
and at this particular fruit stand, I’m plumb
loco in love with the plumiest
man. Festooned with peacock plumes
and swaddled in the plumage
of my happiness, I want to stand at the perimeter
of this plum-luscious
earth, sink a plumb
line for balance, then plummet
like a bird on fire, placate
all my desires, my implacable
hunger for the ripeness of my sweetheart’s plum.

from Rattle #28, Winter 2007


Diane Lockward: “This poem began as an experiment, an attempt to enter a poem via sound rather than subject. The lead word ‘plum’ was used to create a vertical list of rhymes and near rhymes. The words in the list then became line endings.” (web)

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