A nod to a man named Binky and a wink to Robert Frost

August 04, 1996|By ROB KASPER

FRUITLAND, MD. -- Stopping by an unfamiliar roadside vegetable stand on a summer morning.

Whose watermelons are these, I ask, and where did they grow?

The kid working the counter does not know.

The corn, he says, comes from the fields below,

But not them watermelons.

I tell myself that it seems queer

To see peaches at this time of year.

It is mid-July, too early for peaches, freestone or cling.

Yet at every roadside-stand visit, hope for white peaches does spring.

The flesh I long for does not come in a bikini.

Instead it is peach flesh dropped in a fresh Bellini.

Them peaches ain't white or local, the kid says.

So I give the basket of tomatoes a shake.

Right away I see that was a mistake.

The tomatoes are red, and round, but couldn't be cleaved by axes.

They might be good for batting practice.

I turn to leave empty-handed,

Then a truck arrives, with riders muddy and head-banded.

They unload a cargo, aromatic, bordering on stinky.

Their leader is a man named Binky.

Wanna buy a cantaloupe? he asks.

We bargain hard, or so I think.

A clever merchant, this fellow Bink.

I agree to buy one 'loupe for two and a quarter.

He immediately enlarges my order.

I leave with not one, but two large melons.

One delicious now, the other later, by Binky's tellin'.

The fields around us were sandy, flat and taupe.

"Want some more?" Bink asks. I say "nope."

For I have miles to drive with two smelly 'loupes.

Miles to drive with two smelly 'loupes.

Pub Date: 8/04/96

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