The Sweetness That She Craved

BY Terry House


The summer she carried peaches
In splitting half-peck sacks
Wedged onto the ledge of bone 
Where her belly’s bulge met hip – 
One pit dripping between her teeth –
It was the sweetness that she craved.

The summer she carried her first child,
To staunch the craving,
She ate peaches –
Globes of gold and russet fuzz
And copious juicy sweetness –
Yet it was no fruit that she craved.

The summer she craved peaches,
The summer she craved the child-fruit
Who grew plump and ripe and curled
Into an inverted apostrophe
Beneath her ribs,
She ate to quench an orphan’s longing;
She ate to plug the holes
In her porotic heart,
Carrying its ache in the weight of
Fruit-laden abdomen and arms;
But it was a meager hunger that she staved.
It was an untasted sweetness that she craved. 

Terry House is a Boston-based poet and educator. Her work has appeared in such publications as The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, The Berkshire Review, and The Anthology of New England Writers. She is a two-time alum of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

Image Credit: “Peach” from Flickr
Read by Terry House

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