takin’ her slow, limb by limb,”
said the man with the saw,
flanneled arms crossed,
looking at the pear tree
with its hard and gnarled fruit,
some naked, sooty branches
sticking out on one side, as though petrified.
“Won’t be bearin’ any fruit tat-all
come another few years or so,” he pronounced
with unhurried North Woods surety.
“Might as well cut her down.”
Might as well?
It’s a beautiful thing, this singular tree
that I can see through my bedroom window.
Creamy bright flowers that blossom
well before the leaf buds open,
the leaves that fall
too soon; upward
reaching branches, but not all,
some crook down at the top, bent over,
some are necrotically dark. An odd
and lovely contrast of black death
with the living white blooms.
Diseased she may be, this poor pear tree,
and not long for this world, but
her always misshapen and ugly fruit are tender,
soft and sweet. We need only
to peel away the bumps and pocks of the surface
skin and carve carefully through the deformity
to reveal what has been untouched,
pure and yielding pearl of food that slips
into mouth, a luscious cloud infused
with the morning sun.
Oh, the wonderful joy when those juices run!
“Might as well cut her down,” he says?
© 2021 Christina Chase
Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.