Like Shrek with his gourd green head, this thirteen-pound watermelon watered by the Columbia River, ripened outside Hermiston, was trucked west to the valley to be sliced open with a wide sharp blade; it’s bigger than a man’s head, this, the size of an ogre’s, rich in sticky red juice flooding the sluice etched into the cutting board.
Hum-sing the theme chorus “Accidentally in Love” from the second Shrek film, cube the flesh, and suck the nectar from the board. Come on, come on/Turn a little faster-
The first dangerous slice along the scalp steadies the rocking. Then carving rind shells away along the broad curve until the melon is flayed raw and crimson. Come on, come on/The world will follow after-
This is nature’s Gatorade, this sweet pink water. Chop the rind to set out on the hill for the doe still nursing spotted twin fawns. The rind is nearly gone by morning, gone by evening. Come on, come on/’Cause everybody’s after love.
Drought and wildfire, smoke and thunder, cracked earth and dying trees: Only the moon can bring rain, and who can rule her?
There are thresholds before and after, an Old English word with Norse roots. A threshold defines the barrier or bar used to contain the threshed matter lining dirt floored cottages, a boundary to keep the reeds dry within. Some thresholds are as visible as the plank or stone that lies under the door. Others are unnoticed, until they are crossed.