Six Persimmons

          for Noko

after ruining another season’s harvest— 
over-baked in the kitchen oven then 
rehydrated in her home sauna
Aunt Yuki calls upon her sister,

paper sacks stuffed full of orange
fruit, twig and stalk still intact
knows that my mother sprouts seedlings 
from cast off avocado stones, revives 

dead succulents, coaxes blooms out of orchids 
a woman who has never spent a second 
of her being on the world wide web, 
passes her days painting the diversity of 

marshland, woodland, & shoreline; 
building her own dehydrator fashioned from 
my father’s work ladders, joined together 
by discarded swimming pool pole perched 

high to discourage the neighbor’s cats 
that invade the yard scavenging for koi 
“Vitamin D” she says, as she harnesses 
the sun, in the backyard the drying device

mutates into painting, slow dripped
sugar spilling out of one kaki fruit
empty space where my father untethers
another persimmon, he swallows whole

Copyright © 2010 by Shin Yu Pai. Used with permission of the author.