We spot a laden branch hanging over the pavement.
You twist one round fruit off its stalk – warm, blemished
the colour less dazzling in closeup. Sweet juice stickies
our hands. You ask which came first, the fruit or the colour
I say the English name derives from the Spanish naranja, the fruit.
Before then there was no word for the colour yellow-red
ġeolurēad in Old English. Karaka's the colour here you say,
the fruit is orangi so that's clear although karaka's also the name
of a native tree whose karaka-coloured berries are toxic
unless fully ripe/roasted. Kereru (wood pigeons) love them.
I try to remember the new words and how far
the orange's journey from Malaysia to China
to Turkey and Spain, to northern Europe
the Americas then halfway around the world again.