Sherbet Lemons

Clutching a white paper bag, you ran
past St Peter’s graffitied walls.

Your quarter of sherbet lemons could have been
cola cubes, pear drops, soor plooms or aniseed twists.

Crystallized and rough, they lacerate your tongue
but sherbet lemons pack a surprise.

Sour and stringent, they shock your palate
but if you just keep sucking...

a pin hole appears at one end
and crackling sherbet blasts onto your tongue.

Nothing is only bitter or only sweet.

soor plooms – Scots for sour plum

(first published by Dreich, Home anthology, March 2021)

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