30 Mar Papaya
Papaya, you deliver pleasure with your juicy flesh. Your perfectly ripe, too sweet-ness is matched with the tang of lime juice. Over-ripe, you become sickly. Under ripe, green and firm, I feel cheated. Unless you are shredded in sweet, spicy sauce and sprinkled with chopped peanuts. Behind your yellow unpromising skin lies your gorgeous flesh. Not pink, not orange, but on the cusp where salmon meets sunrise. Cut in two you make a six pointed star, bursting with black seeds. Or longways for vulval symbol of abundance. Any sense of not-enough is banished by the joy of your taste. I slurp and squelch into your intimate parts. Bowel mover, your casket of seeds eaten whole rid the gut of worms. You are ‘papaya’ to me now, but I still recall our first meeting. Nervous, shy 8 year old, I am presented with ‘paw paw’ by my parents’ old friend in the ‘Robinson Crusoe’ in Tobago. Overwhelmed by the strangeness of everything, I discovered that fruit grows on trees in strange shapes and unfamiliar colours. Picky eater, even then it was love at first bite.