By Adrienne Su
A crate of peaches straight from the farm
has to be maintained, or eaten in days.
Obvious, but in my family, they went so fast,
I never saw the mess that punishes delay.
I thought everyone bought fruit by the crate,
stored it in the coolest part of the house,
then devoured it before any could rot.
I'm from the Peach State, and to those
who ask But where are you from originally,
I'd like to reply The homeland of the peach,
but I'm too nice, and they might not look it up.
In truth, the reason we bought so much
did have to do with being Chinese -- at least
Chinese in that part of America, both strangers
and natives on a lonely, beautiful street
where food came in stackable containers
and fussy bags, unless you bothered to drive
to the source, where the same money landed
a bushel of fruit, a twenty-pound sack of rice.
You had to drive anyway, each house surrounded
by land enough to grow your own, if lawns
hadn’t been required. At home I loved to stare
into the extra freezer, reviewing mountains
of foil-wrapped meats, cakes, juice concentrate,
mysterious packets brought by house guests
from New York Chinatown, to be transformed
by heat, force, and my mother’s patient effort,
enough to keep us fed through flood or storm,
provided the power stayed on, or fire and ice
could be procured, which would be labor-intensive,
but so was everything else my parents did.
Their lives were labor, they kept this from the kids,
who grew up to confuse work with pleasure,
to become typical immigrants’ children,
taller than their parents and unaware of hunger
except when asked the odd, perplexing question.
I'm still recovering from the fourth cup of wine from our second night Passover seder, and we're watching the Saturday Night Live Prince tribute, so this is going to be brief and possibly misspelled. We had a nice Saturday organized around getting Adam home for the holiday, so we went to Garrett Park, the former B&O railway town that's full of gardens, particularly stunning azaleas. We walked around for an hour, then went to College Park to retrieve Adam.
My friend Annmarie arrived shortly after we got home, and Christine (who was already home visiting her parents) came over a bit later so we could all go together to my parents' for the seder along with friends of theirs. I ate huge amounts of food (as always the actual seder foods are my favorite part, especially the charoset and eggs, though the chocolate roll is really good too). Then we said goodnight and drove son back to College Park. Some Passover pics: