I’m having a fling –

a summer romance
with rhubarb.

That day in June
when I first glimpsed it
reclining on a bed of kale,

my mouth watered,
my taste buds
did a double take.

How is it possible
to have gone all these years
without its sweet tartness
and tangy, peculiar wit?

A bit of an eccentric –

it is, to my knowledge,
the only fruit or vegetable
capable of irony.

If rhubarb were a movie,
it would star someone like a young
Katherine Hepburn, Maggie Smith,
or an auburn-haired Claudette Colbert.

One day, I’ll write that screenplay.

But for now, all I want to do
is order another rhubarb soda

while I wait for a slice
of strawberry rhubarb pie.

Elaine Equi is the author of many collections of poetry including, Voice-Over, which won the San Francisco State Poetry Award; Ripple Effect: New & Selected Poems, which was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Award and on the short list for The Griffin Poetry Prize; Click and Clone; and most recently, Sentences and Rain. Widely published and anthologized, her work has appeared in The Nation, Poetry, The New Yorker, and several editions of The Best American Poetry. In addition to The New School, she teaches at New York University.

feature image by Sugarcrafter on Flickr.

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