Garnets

Harvesting fruits from my garden,
I think of Ceres and Persephone.

Why should the pomegranate
recall Hades and the underworld?

The pomegranate’s red
belongs to the earth we walk,
fragrant as the red blossoms

of Mexican hats in early summer,
or the red of poinsettias in December.

The fruit of the underworld
might be ginger—all root—
with nothing edible above ground.

Preparing curry, I rub off
the outer layer of ginger with a spoon.
The emerging ginger
root is pungent as the sun,
lively as a yellow cat about to pounce.

Husking garlic, I think
how garlic, too, is a fruit
of the underworld,
the round bulb white
as a bulbous moon,

the papery skin
pocked purple in places
like a cratered moon face.

So why a pomegranate?

I know a mailman
who fished during his lunch hour
and near a favorite fishing spot
found bright red garnets.

He brought the garnets to me
in little sandwich bags.

The jeweler said these fragments were too small to work with
so instead I wrote this poem.

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