three ripe figs: maiden-mother-crone
fresh and green, not fully grown
gravid, blushing, ripe allure
nut-brown, wrinkled, sun-matured.
which of these the sweetest be?
high upon this old fig tree
maiden tartness bright and young
full womanhood upon the tongue.
drooping breast and brown age-spots
spurned by youthful hungry thoughts.
adolescent, first one picked
complex taste is not quite fixed.
plump and ready, sun-touched mother
ripe fig flavor like no other
ignored by most, her dried-up skin
sags dessicated on the limb.
with sweetest nectar deep inside.
never plucked and never tried.
By Joanna Dibble