Mango always makes me think of you.
This morning a mango slips and slides in my hands.
I peel it, ineptly
carve away its flesh from the stone,
so large and so hidden.
We bought mango (and durian and jackfruit)
in that international market in Atlanta.
We were 18.
We craved its sweetness, knew nothing about it–
I don’t remember if we peeled it–
maybe with our teeth?
All I remember is licking up the sweet juice,
sinking my teeth into its softness,
gnawing at its unyielding core.
You and me both, taking bites,
laughing helplessly at the stickiness
coating our hands, our cheeks.
Slurping this mango over a trash can until
we gave up, tossed it away.
Every time I cut one now,
I think of our youth and what we’ve learned since then.
As I saw this mango into increasingly smaller slivers,
I wonder when it’s enough.
I think of us then–
we walked away so easily,
not agonizing about what
we left behind.
By Rosalie Hendon
Rosalie Hendon is an environmental planner living in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and many house plants. She started a virtual poetry group in 2020 during quarantine that has collectively written over 200 poems. Her work is published in Change Seven, Planisphere Q, Call Me [Brackets], Entropy, Pollux, Superpresent, Cactifur, Fleas on the Dog, and Red Eft Review. Rosalie is inspired by ecology, relationships, and stories passed down through generations.
One thought on “Mango By Rosalie Hendon”
Great ending. Very poignant.