PISTACHIOS

The last two lines reference a song by
Leonard Cohen.


They're already half-cracked, aren't they,
the smooth shells swinging open, the tongue
of the nut peeping out. I stare at the one in my hand,
and I'm back at the museum in Vancouver, where First Man
is curled in a clam shell, Raven perched on top, waiting
for it to crack open, for Humans to be born. If I had
known the how much sorrow lay ahead, was yet to be borne,
could I have let my heart open like that? This shell
unfolds like some strange green flower to the sun.
It's no accident that things newly minted are green,
that the grass springs up green when April come round
again. Though some think being green means unformed,
unripe, even envy is jealous of green, its freshness,
its hope. The sun, at day's end, loves slipping
behind the horizon, sometimes flashing green. The way
this small nut slips perfectly back into its shell,
although you can never quite click the lid, tuck in
the world's sorrows, make it stick tight, once the hinge
is broken, and the crack that's in everything
has let the light back in.
~Barbara Crooker
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