I sit, contemplating the cherries on my Lisbon table.

      Cerejas, plump, darker than cherry red on the white plate. 

       I lift one to my eager lips, that first bite filled with hope,

     so often dashed when the richness of colour deceives.

   It is a triumph ... firm and luscious.


I choose another ... scrutinizing, comparing, 

and deliberately take the speckled one underneath.

(I’m sure it won’t be as good, but I know, as with life,

one cannot always expect perfection.)


The imperfect cherry is a surprise ...

not quite as juicy, but with a lemony tang

that somehow compliments the richness of the first.

 Then there are the two on the right, tinged with a hint of brown

... too soft, over-ripe.

(I regret that I did not eat these yesterday.)


An unexpected tear trickles down my left cheek

resting there as I examine the darkest cherry, apart from the rest,

pristine but alone.

Taking it gently between my fingers,

I close my eyes so I am not misled by its beauty

and give myself over to pleasure ...



                                                              Richelle da Costa, Lisbon 2012