The Best Banana Bread

by Bill Yarrow

Ed Raglan was a spoiled banana no one wanted to touch. Inexcusably bruised,
the kid turned rotten, descending into dice and mash and reds and chew.
I couldn't understand anything he said. Like "My car has acne."
He means rust, my father explained. Like "I want surgery
for dinner." He means takeout said my mom.
I flexed my ego. I dismissed him
as unlettered, a no account,
a rube. My arrogance was
raging and rancid.

The condescension of a thirteen-year-old punk has no peer. 

Thank God we don't stay thirteen forever.
I thought my neighbordrug addict, alcoholic,
tobacco addict, gambling addicta total failure.
What of my own addictions? Who am I to judge him?
I thought my neighbor unsophisticated. No acquaintance
with literature or art, ignorant of any kind of culture or class.
Turns out he thought in metaphor, which Aristotle calls genius.
I thought that a banana that had turned black from age was garbage.
Turns out that sour milk and black bananas make the best banana bread.