The Sand Pear
The sun has descended Jersey’s belly
as I climb the hill to home.
A cold front presses Liberty Street.
An old woman flaps beneath a flood of light
like moth stripped of a wing –
swinging a rake at a hope of fruit.
Gusts wrestle her shag of
gray and the tree,
felling fat orbs by chance to earth.
Some she’d gather
in a bowl;
others escape her into the thicket.
From the brink of the yard
I holler my help in labored Cantonese,
and she springs to me.
No – she thanks me in odd dialect
and eager smile, palm bearing two golden pears.
The small one I take – and leave.
I wash the fruit and bring woman to mouth,
her plot of bitter melons and squash flowers,
her joy in hearing kindred tongue.
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