Down to the Rind

Down to the Rind

by Carl Eugene Moore

I love watermelon juice, she said,
have since I was a little girl.
She grasps a dull steel tablespoon in
a dark hand well-versed in the language of labor
Greenbax flatware she traded stamps for in the 50’s,
digging half moons from red to white
Speckled black seeds grow in a pile on a napkin.
We’ll dry these and plant them next year;
don’t need but three of four hills.
White rind replaces red-pink flesh.
We didn’t get these much when I was comin’ up;
Pa sold everything he could get hands on for a drink and
Momma was just plain mean to us children.
Digging into the rind,
when they were thicker than this, I used to make
pickles out of the rind.
You just cut them into long strips and
use salt and vinegar and sugar and a couple of cinnamon sticks.
Sour and sweet.
Used to love them in the winter.
Sometimes I would drop a small piece through
the floorboards in my bedroom
and watch the chickens fight for it.

-refers from the word black in Amorak Huey’s poem The Contortionist Twists the Bearded Lady’s Words & Things Get a Little Hairy Between Them 

  1. I love the language of this poem, the description and then the ending tugged hard on me. Thanks Carl!

  2. Jeanette Gallagher

    Mr. Moore’s poem paints a very clear picture that there’s much more here than a watermelon rind. No poverty in his language, e.g. “hands well-versed in the language of labor.” A beautiful and poignant work of art that left me filled with emotion.

  3. Norma E. Phillips

    Insightful, artistic, beautiful. Full of poignant images. Makes me want to read more of your works. I am so proud of you, Carl.

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