We eat oranges and talk about the nature of truth – Jan Harris

We eat oranges and talk about the nature of truth

I tell you that the orange has the perfect name,
an O to show its shape,
the zing of colour when you think the word.

But you – ever the entomologist – remind me,
if you could see through a honeybee’s eyes
it would look yellowy-green.

You score the zest with a knife –
release the citrus scent of Christmas,
satsumas tucked in stocking toes.

You’re so… traditional, you say, laughing.
I wonder if you’re thinking, old-fashioned,
predictable
, maybe even boring.

To you, it smells of our holiday in Seville,
orange blossom in every street and square.
How we swept home at dawn, petals in our hair.

You cup the orange in your palm,
separate each segment tenderly
as lips might open for a kiss.

I slice my fruit in half and find a sunburst inside,
the radiance of your smile,
a wheel speeding away with us.

Jan Harris’s poems have appeared in various places including Acumen, Envoi, and Poetry Wales. Jan was placed third in the Wales Poetry Award, 2019. Her first collection, Mute Swans on the Cam, was published by Oversteps Books in July 2020.