Mary C. Cost

The pomegranate has shrunken with the season’s advance.
Its five structural ridges, rising as the flesh wastes away,
make five sunken cheeks. Its flower tip, a little cup
filled with fine, scentless potpourris.

            Memory fled, my mother sits by the window
            her face, as vacant as a room after the last
            of the guests has departed.

This miser pomegranate still stubbornly clutches. Hide
hardened to a tough Morocco leather, it is life’s little casket,
all the future trapped within.

            And the gifts she would not share – her music
            lapsed into silence, portfolio of photographs,
            burned, her own lovely face. . .

If you were to take this pomegranate and saw through
the weathered casing, all you would find is a desiccate comb:
pith turned to paper, its treasury of luscious seeds, as dark
and hard as pebbles.