Fruit eaten in its season is even better eaten with a poem, witness the expansive deliciousness of apricots accompanied by Diane Ackerman’s poem. When we stumbled on this W.S. Merwin poem, we realized we were in the last moments of cherry season.
Late in May as the light lengthens
toward summer the young goldfinches
flutter down through the day for the first time
to find themselves among fallen petals
cradling their day’s colors in the day’s shadows
of the garden beside the old house
after a cold spring with no rain
not a sound comes from the empty village
as I stand eating the black cherries
from the loaded branches above me
saying to myself Remember this
eating the black cherries…
….saying to myself Remember this
Cherries of course are perfect eaten out of hand on a warm day, spitting pits into the hedge with a faint hope of them becoming a tree…
…or iced in a bowl, the perfect dessert I always wish for, but only occasionally get, in restaurants…
On the lazy night I threw fresh cherries— stems, leaves and all —into a pan and tossed them over high heat with sugar and lemon juice until their juices ran (recipe here), my friends and I felt that same intoxication. We often remember that moment we sat together eating the sublimely messy, almost primal dessert like children, savoring the cherries one-by-one and licking our fingers.
Next cherry feast, we’ll read Merwin’s poem out loud.