Pistachio Path

Going down the path of pleasure, I take

a pistachio, pick it apart with my fingers.

Those too shy to show a little skin will yield

when pried with empty-shell point or knife.

From this dis-assembly line, cargo lands in mouth

to be macerated, savored for seconds, swallowed,

my hands already working on the next nut.

I first met pistachios as a child, in ice cream,

and was not impressed, but my adult palate

savors their salty complex of creaminess

and crunch, surprising me each time I open

these pale-green pops of pleasure.

In my twenties, I found them listed in a tiny tome,

The Munchies Cookbook. Featuring foods not apt

to give more girth, it reasoned the time and effort

to open each nut would keep calorie count low.

Today, quarantined, nowhere to go, in a Zen mood,

I can pick pistachios apart, one by one, all afternoon.

Erna Kelly

Erna Kelly is a retired English professor (UW-Eau Claire). Her poem, Molt, will be part of the Wausau Arts Center’s 2023 Poetry Month window display. Her poem Yellow was given an honorable mention for the March 2023 Wilda Morris challenge. Published poems can be found in Poetry Hall, The Aurorean, Bramble, and several Ariel Anthologies.

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