This Is Just to Say (the Gays Will Steal Your Fruit)

By Dawn Watson

In that tremendous neighbourhood it was hard to steal the plums!
It notably was clerical we shouldn’t break and enter back yards
greening by the stippled red-brick semis with the weather vanes.
You said that you were scared, and I let on I always raided gardens
in the suburbs in the autumn months. The rules said stay clear of the grass
if you are from the council flats and it is not traditional to steal fruit
from the middle class. They need the plums to fill the giant iceboxes
for breakfast time. Like tender magicians, we climbed each bright tree
sprung in all the lovely yards, branches cracking underfoot, plucking
leaves and stripping bark. We crammed the plums inside our shirts,
juice bursting through the jammed-up flannel, pouched and blooming.
Your sap-black, dirty jeans and sticky face and did I say I love you?
By the time the men came with their jail and all their skewbald laws
we were long gone, so sweet and so bold, up the hill and running.


Directed by Matthew Thompson.

Commissioned by Dublin Fringe Festival, GCN magazine, and Outburst Queer Arts Festival for "The North is Next," September 2019. Reproduced by kind permission of the author.