Poem: Mouldy Orange

Once glory of the fruit bowl,

In your youth you were the crowning jewel,

But too many times passed over,

Withered your rind, embittered your juice.


Bananas went before you,

Apples, passionfruit and even a pear,

And you were left behind,

A snack unchosen, moulding in despair.


Eyes drawn to your beauty,

Now turn and wince to see the circling flies,

A patch of rotting skin,

To dust returns your once golden rind.


Oh wretched navel orange!

Misery to all and to yourself,

I cannot bear to eat you,

I cannot save, yet I have power to help.


I will kill you, little orange,

Free you from the prison that is your life,

Citrus euthanasia,

A little wrong to bring a greater right.


I take you in my hand,

Don’t tremble now, soon this will be done,

Now stop your foolish crying,

How can it be murder when committed in love?


I carry you outside,

And look around to find a fitting spot,

How about in the grass,

Past the neighbour’s place, in the empty lot?


It will all be over,

With one swift throw I’ll hurl you to your death,

You’ll land among the bushes,

A dignified and happy place of rest.


Oh, do not be afraid,

I feel you clinging desperately to life,

But you’ve become a pungent nuisance,

And your fate is not yours, but mine, to decide.


Now wipe away those tears,

Grieve not for all those unaccomplished dreams,

Take joy in how your death,

Will make things more convenient for me.


Now ready, be brave,

Relax and I will take away the pain,

Goodnight, sweet orange,

Though you leave, I won’t forget your name.


But no, oh bugger!

The rind breaks as I let fly the amber orb,

Trajectory’s too low,

Splat and shudder on the neighbour’s sliding door.


Festering yellow pulp,

Dribbles down the neighbour’s pristine glass,

He cleans it every day,

He’s coming! I’d better hide somewhere fast.


I’ll duck behind the wheelie bin,

And hope O’Malley doesn’t see me there,

Oh, I think he’s seen the orange,

Yes, he’s yelling—good grief that man can swear!


He’s seen some passing school kids,

He thinks they’re the ones who soiled his door,

Now he’s threatening to kill them,

In that Irish accent, scary all the more.


The kids run off, one’s crying,

Old O’Malley sure is quick to get mean,

Oh well, no harm, no foul,

As long as it’s not happening to me.


That night there in the fruit bowl,

A haunting pool of rotting orange juice,

Last memory of the orange,

I quickly wipe it away with a tissue.



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