What thoughts I have of you today, Allen Ginsberg,
as I cruise the produce section of Kroger in October
looking for apples, rage coursing through my veins
when I find only rows and rows of Red Delicious,
those ugly, grainy, tasteless excuses for fruit,
with their telltale pleats at the bottom–
packed in so many lunch boxes only to be traded for something edible,
included in Christmas fruit baskets merely for decoration,
used in lieu of bread or chips at Panera, to pacify the dieters,
the health crusaders.
These apples called Delicious are not delicious!
Were they named by politicians?
What Doublespeak is this!
I see the more exotic and tasty Fuji and Gala, even Roma,
which are tempting in their round redness, but not
what I’m looking for; I want the crisp, tart, oddly rounded and
not too big, red but not perfectly red and
juicy, mottled in color like fall leaves,
spilling out of their lovely seasonal white paper bags with handles,
and apple pictures on the outside, marked Flamm Orchards,
stamped Jonathan. Ahh, the mouth-watering word!
I choose these. I set them in my basket,
then satisfied, wheel past green Granny Smiths–my winter apples,
when there are no more local Jonathans-suitable for pies, but I don’t make pies.
America, I don’t bake apple pies; I feel no need to embellish that fruit
with cinnamon and sugar, camouflage it under pastry.
But you can make pies, if that is your pleasure,
and choose the apple that tempts you-though America, why
do you persist in calling those disgusting ones “Delicious”?
America, that is a joke, right?
America, I believe we must all eat an apple a day.
And even if your choice of apple is wrong,
I respect your right to eat it.
One citizen, one vote, one apple .
America, we can keep the doctor away!