Rosehips

Benjamin Markovits

Rosehips or Hagebutten
As I grew up calling them
Haggard buttons they sound like
Though in fact appear brighter
Altogether more cherubic
Tough in the cheek like a forced smile
Hanging on till it cracks
The colour of tomato and mascarpone

Flourished thornily beside the bicycle path
Running along the carefully displaced
One on top of the other slightly
Wonky seaside rocks interspersed
By sand and reed and the sandy towels
Wet books hot suntan cream bottles
Attracting flies around the cap
And sunbathers seaweed footed

Turning their pink spots away
From the sun can be eaten
Peel first and only the thin flesh
Mincing in the mouth as the tip
Of your own tongue and although
The clustered seeds at the core
Itch indigestibly a slight forbearance
And the gift for contenting

Oneself with surfaces only
After the broad deep salt of the sea
Swum in or sailed in a faceful
Of spray (particularly for those
Bowriders and jibmen serving
Under the captain dry hooking
The rudder under his armpit)
Sweeten the mineral savour

Of the world before you spit them out.