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Mango 1963

Jacqueline Saphra

As I test the fruit for ripeness,

a certain give

beneath the fingertips

the way you taught me,


suddenly I'm looking up at you.

Your perfect legs,

your tiny waist,

your broken heart.


Pausing outside the greengrocer

you shiver in the February rain

beneath a canopy

of English grey.


You will not go on pushing

this cumbersome pram

up the endless hill, however hard

I cry. You are weighing up


the absurd cost

of one small piece of Africa,

the cold storage taste of home

and working on your best smile.


From Equinox No 14 (September 2006)