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Grenade: Origin < OFr. pomme-grenate

Weight in the hand, inert as a seed
waiting to unlatch, encasement
before the cleaving, from asleep
to awake, from attached to singular,
how a seed case splits and reveals
such tenderness but also its power,
roots cracking rock, stem shaking
the earth. A seed makes itself known,
prepares the earth for its own good work,
changes the landscape. Glossy,
harboring within, the rounded shape
sarcotesta as of the testicle which in itself
means witness, embryo like no other,
willing to feed upon itself, of varying size,
astringency over sweetness.
Without tending reverts to its wild form.
In mythology, every seed a month
of hell for the mother, the daughter,
her daughter's daughters
along the generations. In every war,
the same recognizable hunger.
Fruit of the dead, from living to not living,
also fruit of fertility, from one to many,
the names of the dead ripening.
How the arm extends, the palm opens,
the red pulp within, the perfect arc.
What is sown cannot be called back.
We say bearing fruit and it is borne.

Karen Skolfield

The Missouri Review

Spring 2017

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