Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Love of a Shared Peach

In early summer,
when fruits, fresh and flavorful
remind of childhood, of home,
of the blessings of life,
local peaches, their aroma
emanating from orbs of rose and yellow,
hint of promises of sweetness without rival.

In old China,
a famous minister and his lover
once strolled though a garden where
one picked a ripe peach.
Its flavor so sublime, though wonderful to sample
was tastier given wholly to his lover.
The remaining fruit was offered freely
in a gesture of the truest love.
This selfless gift of a fresh peach
the sharing of its exquisite and sensuous pleasure
has been recalled by the phrase
"Fen tao zhi ai"--
the love of a shared peach.

This symbol of love between two men,
unselfish, true and real,
crosses my mind as I eat
this peach I chose in the local market.
Savoring the nectar with each bite,
I feel it drip down my chin.
If only there were a man
to whom I could offer my love.
I am alone alas, and find,
little consolation for the loneliness
of my own life twenty-four centuries later.
Yet…
I am bolstered in my being by remembering
and savoring the sweetness of their story.

-- 13 July 2004

(Copyright 2004 by Ron Hudson. All rights reserved. No reproduction or use without express consent of the author.)

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