purchased red and robust for a party, but forgotten amidst easier treats:
ready-to-eat cakes, Wheat Thins and pre-sliced cheese.
The party was over.
For a month after,
preoccupied with funeral and fight,
travel and tears,
we pushed her this way
and that, until she
occupied every available housing unit on the kitchen counter,
finally put to rest in
The Back Middle Shelf of Fridge,
playing cards and having old fashioned sing-alongs with the expired baking soda and dehydrated heel of bread.
Today, I scanned the fridge for breakfast.
No elves had shopped while we flew coast to coast.
Only baking soda, bread heel, and
sad crimson ball on white shelf.
I took her for one last stroll on the counter.
I knew I should, but hated to open the trashcan.
The waste of an unused life!
She sat shriveled,
placed her on a purple plate
and sliced her open.
Pure red flowed out
and beneath the mottled skin,
tucked and clustered in chambers with thin white walls,
crisp and fresh.
I sunk my teeth into an open wall of arils—
more than seven—
and red streaked my fingers and face.
A crunch and unexpected burst of sweet tang
renewed my contract to stay in the underworld
where I had more to take in after all.