figspoem by Amy Rothenberg (Summer 2013)

Figuratively speaking,
The fig is like a dream
Fecund, full of promise,

Yet unforgivingly fickle
In our snow-fluffed fields
‘Tis folly,
A figment of the imagination
To cultivate a fruit so tender.

No matter its five minute shelf life
And skin, refined
Your filament of desire once aflame,
That figlorious yearning
Freshened by foraging for the perfect species
For our zone five.

Your feckless fairytale
Off & running,
Filling fancy pots with fertile soil,
Fending off pests
And drought & lesser foe.
Caring for these fruity offspring
With a fierce & fatherly love
Precious figurines of flavor.

Out there forever, morning & night
You coax, you urge, you beseech
Finally you beg figs to come forth.

It was the first of August
Your harvested first prize,
Velvety & plump
Perfection in your palm &
I your faithful witness.

Click here to read about Paul Herscu's adventures of cultivating figs in New England - the inspiration for this poem.