WALNUT FRUIT


It’s hard to believe
that something so green,
so fleshy gives birth to something
so much (for all its hollowness,
its delicacy) like wood.

And yet, it does so actively,
not falling to the ground
to let the soil discover
what it contains,
but clinging so as to gather
the strength to grow
beyond itself, beyond
what is within it,
becoming merely the peel,
then stretching past this,
rent to let in dryness
and rot, shrinking in tatters
around what comes forth,
spending itself into letting go.

What they say
about the exhausted rind is true:
It makes the most indelible dye,
impossible to touch
without being imprinted
by that color, that brown.