Korean Pears

Cupped closely by the braided white netting
that protects them from bruising, they squat on

the shelf, awaiting her return. I’ve found
just three at the market this time, each one

golden, fat, and twice the size of my fist,
skin speckled with pinpricks of a deeper

brown. As a child she would sit patiently
at the feet of my mother, watch her peel

then slice the gleaming, cold flesh into spears,
shovel the dripping white fruit into her

greedy round mouth. These days I seek the pears
wherever I go, heft them in my palms,

inspect their jackets for signs of trauma.
I time my harvest for her holidays,

long weekends when she might decide to come
home after all, forget the bitter fights,

silences cutting the air between us.
I’ll watch her eat, juice dripping down her chin.