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Organic Fruit
Diane Lockward






I want to sing

a song worthy of

the avocado, renegade

fruit, strict individualist, pear

gone crazy. Praise to its skin


like an armadillo’s, the refusal

to adulate beauty. Schmoo-shaped

and always face forward, it is what it

is. Kudos to its courage, its inherent love

of democracy. Hosannas for its motley coat,

neither black, brown, nor green, but purple-hued,

like a bruise. Unlike the obstreperous coconut, the


avocado yields to the knife, surrenders its hide of leather,

blade sliding under the skin and stripping the fruit. Praise

to its nakedness posed before me, homely, yellow-green,

and slippery, bottom-heavy like a woman in a Renoir, her

flesh soft velvet. I cup the fruit in my palm, slice and hold,

slice and hold, down to the stone at the core, firm fist at the

center. Pale peridot crescents slip out, like slivers of  moon.

Exquisite moment of ripeness! a dash of salt, the first bite

squishes between tongue and palate, eases down my


throat, oozes vitamins and oil. Could anything be more

delicious, more digestible? Plaudits to its versatility,

yummy in Cobb salad, saucy in guacamole, boldly

stuffed with crabmeat. My avocado dangles from

a tree, lifts its puckered face to the sun, pulls

all that light inside. Praise it for being small,

misshapen, and durable. Praise it for

the largeness of its heart.



From What Feeds Us (Wind Publications, 2006)
Used here with the author's permission.

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

Diane Lockward is the poet laureate of West Caldwell, New Jersey. The award-winning author of three collections, Diane’s poems have appeared in a number of anthologies such as Garrison Keillor's Good Poems for Hard Times and in such journals as Harvard Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. A former high school English teacher, she now works as a poet-in-the-schools and teaches poetry workshops. Learn more about her at

Post New Comment:
This is so beautiful! When the armadillo curls himself up into a complete avocado, he has got to be unwound. What a sensitive operation. Yum!
Posted 07/27/2011 07:53 AM

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