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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.

Diane Lockward is the editor of four books about writing poetry, four full-length poetry collections, and two chapbooks. Her award-winning work has been published in numerous journals and anthologies and she is a former Poet Laureate of West Caldwell, New Jersey. Learn more about Diane at





Post New Comment:
I agree with Wilda--clever and poetic!
Posted 09/12/2014 08:49 AM
Wilda Morris:
Clever as well as poetic!
Posted 09/12/2014 08:38 AM
Neruda would be pleased with this ode!
Posted 09/12/2014 07:32 AM
Janet Leahy:
My mission now is to leave the house on a search for a ripe or near ripe avocado, nothing else will satisfy. Lovely and rich with language. Thank you.
Posted 09/12/2014 06:41 AM
Yummy poem, Diane. Great to see it again here. Also love avocados.
Posted 09/12/2014 06:40 AM
Loved this shapely ode the first time I read it and it still transports me to deliciousness. Trader Joe's, why aren't your avocados as ripe as Diane's? Thanks for post.
Posted 09/12/2014 06:14 AM
Posted 09/12/2014 03:45 AM
Loved it!
Posted 09/11/2014 11:11 PM

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