Candy Poems: 409 / 500

Fruit Cocktail In Light Syrup

Rating: 4.5

Rocket-shaped popsicles that dyed your lips blue
were popular when I was a kid. That era got labeled
"the space age" in honor of some longed-for,
supersonic, utopian future. Another food of my
youth was candy corn, mostly seen on Halloween.
With its striped triangular "kernels" made
of sugar, wax and corn syrup, candy corn
was a nostalgic treat, harkening back to days
when humans grew, rather than manufactured,
food. But what was fruit cocktail's secret
meaning? It glistened as though varnished.
Faint of taste and watery, it contained anemic
grapes, wrinkled and pale. Also deflated
maraschino cherries. Fan-shaped pineapple
chunks, and squares of bleached peach
and pear completed the scene. Fruit cocktail's
colorlessness, its lack of connection to anything
living, (like tree, seed or leaf) seemed
cautionary, sad. A bowl of soupy, faded, funeral
fruit. No more nourishing than a child's
finger painting, masquerading as happy
appetizer, fruit cocktail insisted on pretending
everything was ok. Eating it meant you embraced
tastelessness. It meant you were easily fooled.
It meant you'd pretend semblances,
no matter how pathetic, were real, and that
when things got dicey, you'd spurn the truth.
Eating fruit cocktail meant you might deny
that ghosts whirled throughout the house
and got sucked up the chimney on nights
Dad wadded old newspapers, warned you
away from the hearth, and finally lit a fire.

Friday, November 28, 2014
Candy Poems: 409 / 500
Topic(s) of this poem: childhood
J.T. Pantoja 24 March 2018

I liked this poem because I think I understood it. Fruit cocktail is like that in my memory, but I liked it. The title could be Fruit Cocktails Secret Meaning. Rocket-shaped popsicles, and candy corn descriptions are unecessary. A poem that says something more profound about truth is Lorna Crozier's What the Snake Brings to the World.

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Susan Williams 18 January 2016

Uh-oh. I have just been pillared, hung out to dry, scolded, and mocked... but I still like my No Sugar Added Fruit Cocktail. I think I will go embrace more tastelessness- for I am hooked on the anemic grapes and the pineapple chunks. Even so, this is a very very good poem, I said red-faced.

15 0 Reply
Manonton Dalan 17 January 2016

heheeh yes pale grapes, pineapple husk...all non marketable fruit parts sugared juice...hmmmm..yesterdays

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