This morning, the Paris Review sent a delightful poem by Campbell McGrath called Plums. It seemed bold to me for somebody other than William Carlos Williams to do this. It’s a prose poem, too and has a voice all its own. It definitely has its own take on plums:
“Was it the first time I’d been West, first time driving across the country? Was it the promise of open space, the joy of setting out, the unmistakable goodness of the land and the people, the first hint of connection with the deep wagon-ruts of the area, the living tissue through which the valley of the Platte has channeled the Mormons and the 49ers, the Pawnee and the Union Pacific, this ribbon of highway beneath a sky alive with the smoke of our transit, the body of the past consumed by the engine of our perpetual restlessness? How am I to choose among these things? Who am I to speak for that younger version of myself, atop a hill in Nebraska, bathed in morning light? I was there. I bore witness to that moment. I heart it pass, touched it, tasted its mysterious essence. I bear it with me still, an amulet smooth as a fleshless fruit stone.”
Or, does it?