Mangoes are sweetest when they are soft
When they drip juice through your fingers
And soak your mouth in summer bursts
They are sunshine and swimming pools
Childhood summers spent with grandparents in the tropics
A treat after that chicken rice dinner unwrapped from banana leaves
I fought for the seed as a child. Not satisfied with its fleshy cheeks
I needed to sink my teeth into the softness and tear it from the hard centre
My hands sticky and oozing
A mangle of sweet joy
Dripping down my chin to the plastic kitchen table cloth below
Somewhere between wild abandon and adulthood
I found myself eating mangoes differently
The shift came quietly
They were too heat-y as some friends said
Too prone to mess and inconvenience
Its sweetness came with the understanding that once stained they could leave their mark
I try to eat them carefully these days
Because with understanding comes fear-laced worry
But mangoes are still sweetest when they are soft
This is my first official poem for Nomad Online.
I was inspired by Sarah Kay’s Ted Talk and decided to give it a go.
Here’s to trying new things in the new year and enjoying without fear the mangoes life gives us.
Not long now, but happy new year everyone!