This poem is part of the SPOONFEED takeover of New Writing, curated by Kat Payne Ware and Sean Wai Keung. You can read the issue in full at spoonfeedmag.com/spoonfeed-x-new-writing
placed on the pewter dish to ripen,
the neat folds of the linen tablecloth,
a pair of steel knives laid out.
All of that week we had been waiting
(my brother and I) for the right moment
when the bitterness would give way
and they would be soft, ready.
A quiet inner chemistry was at work,
we were told, a prickling at first
like a pot of milk heating on the stove,
the lid starting to rattle.
The plums rested on the table,
each one beginning to turn.
We children were impatient
in the kitchen’s sour heat –
one cheek flushed in a small hand,