There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear
when it is perfect to eat.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
lifted from the earth,
higher than my arms reach,
you have mounted.
higher than my arms reach
you front us with great mass;
no flower ever opened
so staunch a white leaf,
no flower ever parted silver
from such rare silver;
O white pear,
thick on the branch,
bring summer and ripe fruits
in their purple hearts.
~Hilda Doolittle Dawson (H.D.) “Pear Tree”
…we noticed the pear tree,
the limbs so heavy with fruit
they nearly touched the ground.
We went out to the meadow; our steps
made black holes in the grass;
and we each took a pear,
and ate, and were grateful.
~Jane Kenyon from “Coming Home at Twilight in Late Summer”
A moment’s window of perfection is so fleeting
in a life of bruises, blemishes and worm holes.
Wait too long and nectar-smooth flesh
softens to mush and rot.
The unknown rests beneath a blushed veneer:
perhaps immature gritty fruit unripened,
or past-prime browning pulp brimming with fruit flies
readily tossed aside for compost.
Our own sweet salvage from warming humus
depends not on flawless flesh deep inside
but heaven’s grace dropped into our laps:
to be eaten the moment it is offered.
The perfect pear falls when ripe
and not a moment before,
ready to become an exquisite tart made by our neighbor
tasting of a selfless gift of beauty and longing.