I come from a family of five. My mother’s grocery shopping always ended in multiple stern cotton bags filled with colors of produces inside. Her two hands gripped strong onto the bags with no room for more. As a kid, I begged “Can I help? Please?” looking up at her, asking for attention, once standing left, twice after roaming around to her right, along the skirt of grocery bags on her waist and down. The green onion always stuck out high and tall in one of the bags with arrogance, like it knew why my mom won’t let me help her carry the stuff up.
A few days a go, I went grocery shopping. I don’t have a family of five here. I only need to feed myself. Though like I am my mother, I couldn’t help but to keep filling in the cart with more and more colors. It felt counter-intuitive, unsatisfying and frustrating almost, to let my cart only carry few shades of what I needed at the moment. I grabbed one ripen and smooth pomegranate and smelt its redness. I put it inside a plastic bag, tied up the bag, and gently placed the fruit on top of my much filled cart. “Go big or go home” — I’ve been keep telling myself that phrase this fall whenever I know and feel that I am making a mistake. The insurmountable grocery shopping I did that afternoon was just one of those occasions.
There are five of us girls in early 20s living together here. On a tired Thursday night after work, three of us set on a bed and I was holding the pomegranate in my hands. With my sore arms, I twisted and broke the pomegranate into pieces. Red shiny pearls rolled out. They were just about right to let our lips dye red and sweet. We watched a TV show on a laptop screen to end our long day. Tomorrow is Monday again — another day we live out our first few pages of womanhood.
POMEGRANATE By D. H. Lawrence
You tell me I am wrong.
Who are you, who is anybody to tell me I am wrong?
I am not wrong.
In Syracuse, rock left bare by the viciousness of Greek
No doubt you have forgotten the pomegranate-trees in
Oh so red, and such a lot of them.
Whereas at Venice
Abhorrent, green, slippery city
Whose Doges were old, and had ancient eyes.
In the dense foliage of the inner garden
Pomegranates like bright green stone,
And barbed, barbed with a crown.
Oh, crown of spiked green metal
Now in Tuscany,
Pomegranates to warm, your hands at;
And crowns, kingly, generous, tilting crowns
Over the left eyebrow.
And, if you dare, the fissure!
Do you mean to tell me you will see no fissure?
Do you prefer to look on the plain side?
For all that, the setting suns are open.
The end cracks open with the beginning:
Rosy, tender, glittering within the fissure.
Do you mean to tell me there should be no fissure?
No glittering, compact drops of dawn?
Do you mean it is wrong, the gold-filmed skin, integument,
For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken.
It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.
From “Birds, Beasts, And Flowers: Poems By D. H. Lawrence.”