What Are Your Plums?

Today is my first official day back to work. Classes begin in one week, but this week -- meetings, meetings, and more meetings. Here's an older poem, included in the Bellingham dance and poetry performance, Phrasings II .


"What are your plums?" the note asked,
Speaking of the upcoming schoolyear, of meetings, of classes.
It must have meant, "What are your plans?"
But I reread the note and, no, it said, "What are your plums?"

It is the end of July and my plums are green,
Hard and sour. By September they will be a purple
Almost black. On one tree, the plums
Ripen to gold, and so quickly
Bees find them the same moment I enter the orchard.

If you meet me there, I'll show you how sweet
Their flesh. So moist the juice will drip from your chin.
So moist you will have to wipe your hands on your plans.