Today’s response to MURI’S 2020 CHALLENGE FOR NATIONAL POETRY MONTH.  Like the 2019 challenge, this consists of 13 prompts, one for each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in April. They can be completed in any order.  If you are interested in participating, click on the above link for the prompts and posting guidelines.

Prompt #5 is “Use the theme of ripening in a poem.”

Ripening is a word I associate with fruit and late summer.  Fat tomatoes from the garden, luscious melons from the farm market, peaches, pears, and apples straight from the orchard.  This time of year, fruit is found at grocery stores.  It’s picked before its prime in some faraway sunny place and cold-shipped to Ohio.  “Cuties” are generally good, and bananas and avocados will ripen reliably on the counter, but I steer clear of the other stuff.  In the pre-COVID-19 world, hubby would sometimes accompany me to the grocery and toss things into the cart when I wasn’t looking—Cocoa Puffs, Oreos, a six-pack of Negro Modela, and occasionally, fruit.  I can abide with kiddie cereal and cookies and beer.  Bad fruit?  No way.

The poem is a parody of This is Just to Say by William Carlos Williams.


I have put back
the peaches
that were in
the grocery cart

and which
you were probably
would ripen

Forgive me
they were hopeless
so green
and so hard

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  1. judyrutrider April 10, 2020 / 2:33 am

    I heard that the production of Modelo has been shut down so tell hubby to stock up! Running out of TP is one thing but running out of Negra Modelo could be catastrophic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan April 10, 2020 / 10:39 am

      Thanks, JR. I have apprised hubby of the Modelo situation, but we swore off shopping for two weeks and won’t be going back to the grocery until Thursday 4/16. It they have it, we’ll get some. If not, I’ll assume God wants us to pick a different poison like wine or ice cream or Ding Dongs. The continued unavailability of toilet paper is starting to worry me, along with the proliferation of ads for bidets on my social media. 🙂


  2. Tippy Gnu April 10, 2020 / 10:28 am

    Well, if there are still some canned peaches left on the grocery shelf, maybe you could pick up some of those.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan April 10, 2020 / 10:48 am

      Umm, I don’t think so, Tippy. My stock of canned fruit includes only things I actually like: mixed tropical fruit, mandarin oranges, pineapple rings and maraschino cherries. (The last two are necessary ingredients in pineapple upside-down cake.) In the freezer are raspberries and blueberries from my mom, bananas I couldn’t eat quick enough, and a 3-lb bag of mango chunks. Plus I’ve got fruits I always thought were veggies–baby tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados. So I’m good. Peaches can wait until summer. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tippy Gnu April 10, 2020 / 11:29 am

        Wow, that cornucopia listing of fruits makes my mouth water. Who cares about peaches in the summer? I want a fruit salad, now.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. murisopsis April 10, 2020 / 10:30 am

    I can completely sympathize. My husband is the opposite. He can’t tell a ripe banana from a severely bruised one. He likes to bring home bananas and any fruit that is so far gone that they are inedible! Love the poem too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan April 10, 2020 / 10:59 am

      Thanks, Muri. Our local grocery has a “bargain shelf” for produce past its prime. Some of it is OK, but I’m not into wrinkled bell peppers and avocados that have turned to guacamole inside their skins. As for ripeness, certain fruits have to pass the “sniff test” (which has fallen out of popularity in the Coronavirus Era). If they smell like nothing, that’s what they will taste like. I wasn’t always a good chooser of fruit… I remember handing a gorgeous pineapple to the produce guy at Meijer, to have them peel and core it. He said, and I quote, “Ummm, do you want THIS one? Or would you rather have one that’s ripe?” LOL. 🙂


    • Just Joan April 17, 2020 / 4:49 pm

      You’re welcome. Good peaches are the cornerstone of the universe and yet, so much depends upon the red wheelbarrow… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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