I went into town yesterday on the train. There was a black banana between the tracks. There was some orange peel and a couple of coffee cups and some paper and a whole banana.
It was still in the skin and had the stalk on. It was unopened and completely black.
In the sweating sunshine in some far distant land, up in the highest tops of a tall, tall tree a vast machete draws a gleaming arc through the exotic light, greened in the shade of umbrella leaves. Slashing through the great stalk the blade ruins the embrace of the bunch and the tree.
Plummeting to earth it is scooped with its fellows to the back of a truck. A brightly painted devil of a truck with sides resplendent in ochre and scarlet and vermillion, driven by a smiling Rasta with laughing eyes and a singing heart. It is carried through pitted, potholed byways to the port where sagging hammocks of green crescents swing under the brilliant sky and dip to the gloom of the ship’s hold swinging and surging on the ocean swell.
Many, many sea miles carry ripening fruit in the pungent darkness with dying spiders full of unspent poisons, until landfall in Portsmouth or Southampton or maybe even Liverpool. Crane monsters creak and screech into the grey of the northern sky feeding endless ribbons of mighty behemoth trucks. Metal monsters pound through driving rain on screaming motorways to deliver the harvest to the money magnet outlets where the hands of shoppers snatch up the hands of fruit carting them carelessly to ticky tacky housing where they rest, “Separate from the other fruit mother.”
Plastic banana case, leather satchel, canvas sack who knows. The singing Rasta rests with his back against the bark, the great leaves shelter and gloom the plantation floor and the mighty machete slashes on and there between the tracks in the dirty northern rain a black banana rots into the gravel.
The black banana makes me want to cry.