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Poetry Prose and Other Words

by Ken Ingham

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Just Plain Bananas

Bananas are the best deal in the grocery store
even though imported from afar, shipped green
on banana boats like Harry Belefonte sang about.
At home they ripen slowly to impeccable yellow.
Then come brown aging spots that quickly
coalesce. My mother never threw one away;
old mushy ones make the best banana bread.
They say bananas have potassium, that one a day
keeps the blues away. But its not always true,
what they say about bananas - I’ve never known
anyone who slipped on one of their peels. Once,
while my niece and her dog were staying at our
house, we came home to apples and nectarines
scattered on the kitchen floor along with pieces of red
glass from the fruit bowl. And piled neatly on the
living room rug, the empty peels of three
bananas. That dog ate chocolate kisses too, tinfoil
and all. In bygone days, I used to eat pieces of banana
dipped in chocolate fondue, or split lengthwise
under three scoops of ice cream. That was in the early stages
of the epidemic called obesity. Now I like them
on morning cereal or with ibuprofen, each pill
sandwiched between two bites of banana. During
the final months of the ‘96 election campaign I
tacked a rotten banana on my bulletin board at
work and left it to dessicate. It never stank but
slowly shriveled until the only thing recognizable
was the blue “Dole” sticker. Someday, I hope to
eat a banana picked fresh from its tree.