The colours and the sounds and the smells were first. Then the produce itself. But before all that, before I had even clapped eyes on my first Parisian poire or pomme there was the sound of that open-air market, a symphony of French voices, impassioned and agitated and throaty as hell, and the crackle of butcher's paper wrapped once, twice, thrice around new purchases, and that clean, green, farm-y kind of smell that fresh fruit has. All those bright colours and shapes, round and plump and, well, you can only use that french word 'pulpeuse', which is used to describe the curvy fleshiness of a girl of Reubens proportions, but you know, fruit is kind of sexy to some people, isn't it?
We grabbed handfuls of everything - soft, fuzzy peaches and buckets of burgundy cherries and strawberries so big we couldn't believe it. Our eyes must have been so comically round and hungry and in complete awe of everything, because stall keepers kept giving us things to eat and laughing when the smiles spread, sylph-like across our faces. Little apricots, squashed nectarines we christened "nature's donuts" and quarts of blood oranges stained our lips and fingers with reckless abandon. We filled our baskets and our bags and, when they were full, our pockets and we set off to the riverside. We lay down a mat and we dropped our books to the ground and we sat down, with maybe a rolled up sweater, discarded because it was so warm, or maybe a shawl to lay under our heads. We rested, one hand grasping for a piece of fruit every now and then, the other laying by our sides as we listened to the water go by. The fruit, cold from their place in the shaded basket, was so sweet and so fresh it was shocking, each bite was so full of flavour it was remarkable. For those unconvinced by the desire t source farm-fresh produce a trip to a Parisian square market ought to do the trick. This was a perfect day. This is how all summer days should be. And this is how all fruit should be - ripe and fresh and bright and clean and so sweet, and so cold.
Also, this poem never gets old.