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Conversing with an Orange
Juditha Dowd

Yüksel taught us the right way
to eat the Turkish portakal.
You do it slowly, talking with friends,
attentive to the task.
I saw that preparation
can be an aspect of taste,
as time may often be of place,
and I memorized the rule:
Slice off the stem,
work your knife in carefully
under the pebbled skin.
Score it in six vertical lines.
An orange can last all evening
with a glass of sweetened tea,
talk melding with the fruit,
the stacked elliptical peel.
You climb the honey-scented hills
of Izmir or Mersin,
build a small white fortress
from the wrinkled seeds.

From Back Where We Belong (Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press 2012).
This poem first appeared in the Journal of NJ Poets.
Used here with the author’s permission.

Juditha Dowd lives near the Delaware River with her husband and cats. Her work appears frequently in literary journals and anthologies, and she has published three chapbooks. 
Juditha belongs to a nine-member poetry ensemble, Cool Women, that performs in the NY-Philadelphia metro area and, occasionally, in Oregon. Nine months of the year, she can be found working in her garden.

Post New Comment:
Tom Mallouk:
This reminds me of watching my grandmother peal an orange in one continuous spiral. Lovely
Posted 02/03/2014 01:35 PM
Ginny C.:
Great to see your work here, Juditha. Lovely poem.
Posted 04/11/2013 05:00 PM
wendy morton:
Such a careful and geometrical poem. Delicious.
Posted 04/11/2013 10:48 AM
What a great subject, what a great lesson! I love the poem.
Posted 04/11/2013 08:35 AM
Clearly, I eat way too fast. Must...slow...down...
Posted 04/11/2013 05:24 AM
Hi Juditha. Lovely meditative moment over oatmeal and strawberries. The orange will come later as I travel. I notice the strong last words of each line. They could be the poem. A measured esthetic gift.
Posted 04/11/2013 05:06 AM

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