Jaime An Lim
Newly recovered from a fever, my wife
Is back in the kitchen. Nurturer,
Nourisher, stoker of the hearth fires
Of our stomach, she is assembling
The ingredients of a simple fare, a fruit salad.
Crisp papaya cubes, not quite ripe, pale green
Turning subtly orange and red at the edges.
Banana, creamy yellow, each round slice
Marked with a perfect star in the middle.
Diced ripe mango, nuggets, of the richest gold,
And macapuno, freshly scraped, in soft milky ribbons.
Then a handful of raisins, a sprinkling
Of nuts for contrast in taste and texture.
All gently mixed, folded, chilled.
It never ceases to amaze me, every time,
This magical act of hers, how in her quick
Sure hand the commonplace turns into something
Special, a nourishment of startling shapes, startling colors.
She seems happy now, though a week ago she was not.
It is all a matter of delicate balance.
You take life in all its various weathers,
In equal measure, happy and sad,
The way you eat a delicious fruit salad:
In spoonful after grateful spoonful,
The green with the golden, the soft with the hard.