Peaches (Jennifer Compton)

Verity La Heightened Talk


Now you are making me laugh and remember.
We had a peach tree next to our septic tank.
Over the years the tree had dug its roots
well and truly right into the good muck.
The taste of those peaches! Hot and sweet!
Many in the village would come and beg
for a bucket of the good peaches, the peaches
shaped like buttocks, with a pink flush.
I would try to (tastefully) tell them exactly why
the flavour was so excellent – You are eating us.
Our ordure, our guano. But it never put them off.
It was a clingstone peach with a golden flesh.
The rosellas and the bowerbirds would get drunk
and disorderly on the ripe fruit up in the boughs.
I would climb – go eyeball to eyeball with them –
reach out a hand and slap them out of the tree.
Then the Council told us to get a new system
and damn! Those peaches weren’t as golden.