Listen, back in Jamaica
when I was about nine
I searched the Julie Tree
in the front yard.
Found one, mostly green skinned
with a splash of yellow –
but a ripe Julie, just the same.
Encouraged by this find
I climbed up the Mango Tree
looking for more.
I shimmied to the end of each branch.
Checked every cluster
and scanned amongst the leaves
as the branches swayed
back and forth by a gentle breeze.
Then I saw her
a nice fat Julie peeping out
as the leaves twisted in the wind.
She was in a shaded spot –
surrounded by leaves
so little sunlight touched her.
This Julie, was mostly yellow –
very little green, with streaks
of red and burgundy.
She looked too-oo good to eat
I thought, as I picked her
and pressed her to my nose
sensing the sweet juiciness inside.
Save this one for later,
a little voice inside whispered,
or give her to mom!
Nah, a different voice interjected –
every body will want a piece!
You will have to hide her, replied the tiny voice!!
As I descended the Mango Tree
my mind was filled with all the places
that would be perfect .. to hide my Julie.
Save it, an angry voice interrupted –
stash it away and meck rat eat it
or worms and maggots infest it!
Oh no, you better eat this Julie now!
Cut her in slices
serve her .. on a plate!!
But someone might beg me piece.
A better thing, returned the angry voice –
climb back up this Julie Tree
then you will have her all to your self.
Yes, in this Julie Tree
I can eat her slowly –
savoring every bite!
Yes, just me and you
my Julie Mango!
Conscience now eased –
I began at the small end
biting and pealing off the soft
thin, smooth skin with my teeth
then eating it, repeating that process
again and again and again –
until only the fleshy, yellow Julie
with the seed in the middle, was left –
the juice, percolating
through the fingers of my right hand
and down my arm.
I .. take .. big bites –
the Julie, so full and ripe
you hear 'crunch' as my teeth
takes in each glorious mouth full.
The juice dripping off my elbow
with my Julie, now bear to the seed –
which I scrape against my teeth
to get every tiny bit, of sweet morsel.
But too soon, all I have left
is a Julie Mango seed –
which I tossed into the hedges
hoping someday there might be
a new Julie Mango tree.
Seemed ashamed, as I cleaned up nice
my once white handkerchief
now stained with the sweet yellow juice
of a most delicious mango.
Out of the tree
and feeling quite tall
I see my mom coming –
she doesn't look pleased at all.
Fussing and scolding
for not answering her calls.
But reaching out my hand
I told her “I got this Julie for you”.
And the look, in mom eyes
was just as nice
as being alone .. with my Julie.