by Paige Kester
My grandfather was known
in his youth as the melon thief.
His parents ran a small inn
and never had enough money
for these summer fruits.
When the rain quit,
he would trickle down to the market
like the left-over puddles.
drum the melons until
he found that perfect hollow
music. Once found, he stuffed
the melons in the over-sized shirt
that was stolen from his father
and snaked his way back home.
Now, every June my Grandfather takes me to the market
to buy cantaloupes.
We have to buy a lot, to make the most
of them over this summer.
In the market,
He shows me a melon, I tap on it
like he does.
He holds one up
to look for bumps, bruises
and cracks around the stem.
We both know that we need to find
smooth melons, they will have
the best fruit. And since
the melons don’t last long,
we want the best.
I wish we could sneak the melons under our clothes
and trickle away with them as he used to.
My Grandfather, the melon thief,
no longer eats cantaloupes when I
bring them home.