Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 17
Fall 2017

Plums, Maybe Plums

by Linda Neal

Wm. Carlos Williams said
they were sweet
the plums. Plums happen like kisses,
treacherous as a purple storm cloud
dark as blood
and zealous too.

A plum fits in my hand
like a ball of yarn
then a pulsing wound
before I squeeze the purple out.

I don’t feel sorry for the tiny thing
plucked from its limb
long before I found it
in a crate at the farmer’s market.

I just want to hold it tight
explore its flesh with my lips
my tongue, my teeth.

Then chew its skin
suck its flesh into that place
deep inside of me
that suffers in the dark

and kill it.


SHJ Issue 17
Fall 2017

Linda Neal

first wrote poems when she was in high school. She studied literature at Pomona College, earned a degree in linguistics and a master’s degree in clinical psychology. She’s a mother, a gardener, and a grandmother. She’s been a marriage and family therapist and meditation teacher for years. Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals, including Lummox, Beecher’s Magazine, Crack the Spine, Santa Fe Literary Review, and SLAB. Her essays and poems have won awards from newspapers and journals, including Beyond Baroque Foundation, Pacific Coast Journal, and the Poetry Revival Anthology of the National Kidney Foundation. Her first collection, Dodge & Burn (Bambaz Press), was released in 2014.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury