"naked and golden brown"
Each year at Christmas my grandmother sends
a paper bag of shelled pecans.
This year I find not halves
but dozens of perfect whole pecans,
naked and golden brown,
surely impossibilities with shells so hard
and flesh so soft.
When I was a child, pecans
were the only nuts my hands could crack,
and as the sweet meat broke anointed
into bits on the plate,
I relished it crumb by crumb.
Let peal the trumpets!
Bring the Christ child frankincense, myrrh,
and these pecans—
true miracles in their own right;
but I wonder at the powers that send
such fragile beings forth into the world
quite whole, when they are best savored broken.
Joyce E. Kelley is a professor of English at Auburn University at Montgomery and serves as an editor for THAT Literary Review.