Poetry Sunday: For the Love of Avocados

We love our children, nourish them, teach them as best we can, and, filled with trepidation, we send them out into the world and hope for the best. And sometimes, when they come back to visit, we find that they have grown far beyond the space that we had thought they occupied. They have learned so much more than we ever knew and have become unique individuals with knowledge and skills quite separate from us. They have learned how to slice and prepare - and love - avocados.

For the Love of Avocados

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by Diane Lockward

I sent him from home hardly more than a child.
Years later, he came back loving avocados.
In the distant kitchen where he'd flipped burgers
and tossed salads, he'd mastered how to prepare

the pear-shaped fruit. He took a knife and plied
his way into the thick skin with a bravado
and gentleness I'd never seen in him. He nudged
the halves apart, grabbed a teaspoon and carefully

eased out the heart, holding it as if it were fragile.
He took one half, then the other of the armadillo-
hided fruit and slid his spoon where flesh edged
against skin, working it under and around, sparing

the edible pulp. An artist working at an easel,
he filled the center holes with chopped tomatoes.
The broken pieces, made whole again, merged
into two reconstructed hearts, a delicate and rare

surgery. My boy who'd gone away angry and wild
had somehow learned how to unclose
what had once been shut tight, how to urge
out the stony heart and handle it with care.

Beneath the rind he'd grown as tender and mild
as that avocado, its rubies nestled in peridot,
our forks slipping into the buttery texture
of unfamiliar joy, two halves of what we shared.


  1. I like it! Who knew a literary image about avocado could be so tender! ;-)

    1. Exactly! I was immediately touched by her poem. I thought, "Yes, she's got it just right!"


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