Suzanne O'Connell | Poet

My Life As A Meteor

A melon dropped from the sky last Thursday.

I ran over to the patch of lawn where it landed.

I touched it all over

to see if it was real.

I couldn’t tell if it was a

Crenshaw,

Canary,

Casaba,

or Cantaloupe.

I didn’t want to touch it too much,

or taste it for that matter.

It could be radioactive

after its plunge through space.

 

The fallen melon reminded me of my childhood.

Unpredictable things happened all the time.

Like that one day when I was thirteen,

I noticed new pills in the medicine cabinet.

The label said they were for my mother

and they were for

GESTATION AND LACTATION.

I didn’t know these words so I looked them up.

 

“Gestation is the process

of being carried in the womb

between conception and birth.”


Then I had to look up “womb,”

but I was getting the picture.

Shortly after that, my brother appeared

in a basket on the couch.

 

I didn’t understand most of what went on in my life.

Forks and grandparents disappeared.

Dad sprayed whipped cream in his face.

I was failing arithmetic.

Full bottles of wine appeared in the bushes.

Our cat Tommy ran away and moved in with another family.

 

I was a lot like that melon.

Solitary,

heavy as a bowling ball,

falling through the silent language of the stars

to an unknown landing.

People touched my net-like skin without asking,

They sniffed my stem end

to figure out if I was one of their tribe,

they shook me to see if my seeds were loose.

 

People scratched their heads and couldn’t explain

the mystery that was me.

Then the melon cracked open

and I fell out.

 

 

 

The Louisville Review, No. 78, Fall 2015

 

 

 

 

 

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