Fruit of the tree

The branches of the pomegranate tree sagged for six days while their yield ripened. By the final evening the murky red skin split, unable to stretch farther across the bulging fruit. The goldenrod sunset flickered through the branches, reflecting off the glistening amber-red seeds.

I did not pick the pomegranate. I left it where it had bloomed, though I did cup it in my hands. I pressed my lips to its edge and the skin trembled between my mouth and the fruit within. The seeds were still warm with the heat of the sun, not sweet as honey but tasting instead of themselves, tart and light and complex.

The evening dusk obscured my red mouth, my dripping chin. The fruit remained on the bough, still thick with promise but spread wide, open and depleted.


Eshet hayil

Have you ever seen anyone like her? She’s worth her weight in gold. By 5:30 she’s up, doing a load of laundry. She gets the kids off to school, and she studies with them after dinner. Late into the night she’s on the phone with clients, and her accounts are always up to date. She directs her employees with competence, and charitable foundations contact her daily. She is the first person her friends call when trouble strikes. (Does she ever sleep?) Though she provides luxuriously for her family, she never fails to put money aside for retirement and college tuitions. Her children are clean and well-behaved, and her husband is highly respected.

Her skills are unmatched, and no one else could take on all of her roles. And yet it is her open heart, her love and purity of purpose, that leads me to praise her valor.