Clementine Seeds

I was told that clementines
do not bear seeds.

So this most recent box
– Clementines, you know, are typically shipped
– in wooden boxes
– (made of boxwood, I shouldn’t wonder)
has me befuddled.
First I crunched through the seeds,
then I spit them out and lay them,
glistening wet
in the aromatic cradle of the fruit’s discarded skin.

What is the meaning of this?
I asked the Internet.
– Wonder of wonders
– Futurism at its best.
And the Internet told me
that the culprit
was cross-pollination.

There was a lawsuit!
Orchard keepers vs. Beekeepers.
– Keep your insects
– away from our mandarin-orange-subspecies!
Clearly it wasn’t the bees fault;
who can blame a bee for doing what bees do?
– Especially now that they’re disappearing.
– (That would be rude!)
So blame the keepers, and take them to court
Maybe the orchards are now more sacrosanct.
Or maybe the orchard-keepers’ pockets better lined

But I think it must go deeper than that.
If you’re a fruit that has no seeds,
then you’re a fruit that knows there will never be another fruit
just precisely like you.
You’re a fruit that cannot pass along its genes.
– A neuter fruit
– A eunuch fruit
And even the gentle clementine would not want to be that!

I think that clementine seeds are a sign
of the persistence of life.
Bees will get into orchards. This is what bees do.
The will do their little bee dances on your
mandarin-orange-subspecies flowers
and Mr. Orchard-Keeper
– (or Ms)
there is nothing you can do about it.

The clementine wants to evolve
and the bees want to help it.

Who are we to stand in the way of this,
the greatest of natural functions,
just so that we can enjoy
a seed-free fruit?

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