Ever the collector (and mishandler) of metaphors and idioms, I am thrilled to come across a new one to add to my quiver of possibility. The new metaphor, ‘the fruit throwers’, is perfectly suited to those occasions when I find myself pressed into rising irritation with something that really shouldn’t be sending my zen out of whack. It has the effect of making my armies stand down, maybe it’s the memory of the Mrs Doubtfire ‘run by fruiting’ scene… Ah, humor as antidote, so sweet, so perfect for all the rushing we do this time of year.
By Marie Howe
Standing next to my old friend I sense that his soldiers have retreated.
And mine? They’re resting their guns on their shoulders
Talking quietly. I am hungry, one says.
Cheeseburger says another,
And they all decide to go find some dinner.
But the next day, negotiating the too narrow isles of
The Health and Harmony Food Store— when I say, Excuse me,
to the woman and her cart of organic chicken and green grapes
she pulls the cart not quite far back enough for me to pass,
and a small mob in me begins picking up fruit to throw.
So many kingdoms,
And in each kingdom, so many people: the disinherited son, the corrupt
the courtesan, the fool.
And so many gods—arguing among themselves,
over toast, through the lunch salad
and on into the long hours of the mild spring afternoon— I’m the god.
No I’m the god. No I’m the god.
I can hardly hear myself over their muttering.
How can I discipline my army? They’re exhausted and want more money.
How can I disarm when my enemy seems so intent?
Thanks again to Marie Howe whose volumes of poetry I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know.