This is Just to Say

This is just to say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

I’ve always loved this poem, but I may never have fully appreciated it until living with a man full-time. Williams Carlos Williams was a doctor and poet, but he was also a food stealer!

This is a playful poem but jokes aside, this poem is also about the sharing and sacrifice that comes with a relationship and living with another person. He has eaten her plums, which he knows she was saving, yet he just couldn’t help himself, “they were so delicious.”

The individual’s wants won out over his partner’s. When I finish this poem, I feel several different ways:

1. I can’t believe he ate her plums. How selfish!

2. Those plums were so tempting. Wouldn’t I have done the same thing too?

3. They are plums; she can buy more of them.  She’ll be happy he enjoyed them in the moment.

It’s amazing how we can also feel this range of emotions with the ones we love when they “borrow” from us. It could be our special breakfast bar or Fage yogurt, clothes with your sisters, or extra time on a project for a friend. I have two contradictory feelings of “here, have it” and “no, you can’t take that.”

We are always fighting or balancing between grasping and giving. Giving is great, but you can also lose yourself in it. Grasping is desperate and full of fear.

I think he can have the plums, but would you mind replacing them, William?

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