Venie Environmental Poetry Prize

Greengage plums in preston by Kiara Lindsay

it’s taken us four months to work out
what type of fruit our tree will bear

they will be greengage plums

they’re not ripe yet so I bought one at the supermarket
to see what they will taste like

very tart and biting just under the skin
like a couple after a row

I imagine myself making jam or roasting them with
spice and think about abundance

I research fruit nets until I found out fruit bats die
because their mothers can’t get back inside

I roast the plums and fill up empty jars
they don’t fit in the fridge so I start to give them away

a group of fruit bats migrate further north where there are more trees
and less nets

I’m tasting the preserved plums. they’re not quite what I had expected
and in fact, terrible

I’m surrounded by buckets and baskets of pale green fruit
the kitchen ferments on a hot afternoon

the bats can’t find a tree without nets or pesticides
so they start to malnourish

I take all the plums and place them in the landfill bin. I keep only one jar of the first jam I made.
it was the sweetest and best-tasting of the jams.

it takes me six months to eat it because I don’t eat much
jam these are the greengage plums in preston

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