My pact with the universe
Clustered rotund, juicy, this was prescient fruit
you said it’s tradition in Spain that as the clock
strikes twelve we must scoff a grape a chime
one at a time, but quickly as any left over become
unsalvageable, each one a rotten, failing month.
I chuckled, brushed off a singular nagging thought:
that I could do with some good luck after a slew
of hard-edged years, new years when I hadn’t even
known about the need for grapes (rookie mistake).
When it came to it, I prepped like an Olympian,
determined to swallow every single tangy mouthful;
breathed deeply as I stretched overworked legs,
arms, neck, my jaw, summoned a blinkered focus,
to match great champions, gulped wine to refresh
stood in anticipation, hanging mouth, a waiting cave.
Then, one to twelve, a fit of full-mouthed laughter and
you two were early drop-outs while I sprint finished,
gnashed at chunks of flesh, biting skin a dozen times,
sweet juice running down my chin, until it was official:
I had eaten twelve green grapes as the ball dropped,
I didn’t know whether or not I’d secured my fate but
we chose to celebrate, it was a new decade after all.
Kate J Wilson has been writing poetry since she was an angsty teenager. Now she is a marginally less angsty adult, working for charity in London. Recently Kate’s work has appeared in the The Medusa Project (Mookychick), 14 Magazine and The Pandemic Poetry Anthology (Gloucester Poets). Her debut pamphlet is due from Wild Pressed Books in January 2021.