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Blighted

close-up of pear tree in the morning sun

“The blight’s

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?

But

is might

right?

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,

the light,

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

Feature Photo by Dana Luig on Unsplash

Christina Chase View All

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.

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