(Picture by amazing North Carolina artist Kristin Gibson; poem by me…)
Ruby juice splashes out on the kitchen wallpaper and
the peppermint-striped candles set on the countertop.
Red dots hit my sweater – there, on the left shoulder where the apron
decked with holly and Christmas trees does not go.
Oh, someone says from behind a bowl of steaming mashed potatoes,
Oh, you need to peel them in a bowl of water.
I fill a bowl and watch the water turn pink as the bright red seeds spill out of
their hidden chambers and sink. White membrane separating the seeds swim to the top.
Yes, that’s the way to do it.
Wait in line at the sink for the colander – behind green beans, sweet potatoes,
Sprinkle the sparkling seeds in a circle around the turkey, the tofurkey.
Make room on the table for the crown jewel with its wreath of parsley and pomegranate
— no space for another dish. (But wait, there’s still the olives and Emily’s pickles!)
Do not forget the rolls in the oven. Do not forget to say grace.
Do not forget to look around at the faces that gather together only on this day
in the glow of the peppermint-striped candles and the sparkling lights on the tree.
Cold, hard rind: red-brown leather globe. Bumpy.
Listen for a metallic sound when you tap so you know it’s ripe.
Who would guess such sweet fruit could lie inside?