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Christmas Pecans

"naked and golden brown"

Published onDec 24, 2022
Christmas Pecans

Photo by picjumbocom:

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.

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