American Life in Poetry
Many of us feel a great sense of pride as we watch our children discover the world for the first time. Here, Kathleen Driskell, a Kentucky poet, shows us her own daughter taking that first taste of a late summer watermelon she has grown herself.
In first grade, you met Squanto,
nearly naked and
on his haunches, showing
those thick-headed pilgrims
how one must plant fish
to grow maize. And in autumn
you dove into the lobotomized
pumpkin, into the gooey pulp
and seeds, raising a clump
like a slimy chandelier
from the Titanic. And now
in late summer, daughter,
you smile, holding a ripe watermelon,
cut in half, exposing the black
seed within its bright red heart.
Your melon. How proud you are
to think you grew this delicious
thing all on your own.
Poem copyright 2009 by Kathleen Driskell from ”Seed Across Snow” (Red Hen Press, 2009), and reprinted by permission of the author and publisher. American Life in Poetry is supported by the Poetry Foundation and the English department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.