Prize Pumpkin

George Murray


Cut away all other
flowers from the vine,
let one fruit take on
mass at the cost of colour,
shape, taste, and all else
besides. A slow spill,
it flattens, whatever
pretense of pumpkin
it was begun with
left behind in favour of size,
every seed and visceral
string within held
back from splitting
the pale flesh by
simply adding more skin.
It waits in its field,
a shut-in anticipating
the beep-beep of crane
reversing in the garden
with enormous litter
telescoping through
the window’s mouth.
Ambulance straps wrap it,
cradle it, elevate,
evacuate, make it public.
This monumental shapeless
shape is what the blue
ribbon citation
calls pumpkin, and so
once defined, it is set
into a flatbed and sent
to take its place at the fair.