Making Fruit Salad

by Lance Larsen

Start with the rawest of fruits:                                                                                              dumpy pears, oranges with twisted navels,
squarish grapes from too much bundling,
a melon with soft spots in its character.
Think of yourself as a priest exorcising imperfection,
your hands feeling the foibles of generations.
Trim and cut and quarter, laying husk and seed
in a battered tin to be dealt with later.
Leave only the vitals. Wash and anoint them.
Now take your grandmother’s best cut-glass,
spread the fruit in careful layers
like the precipitates of an Edenic storm,
balancing grapes against berries,
orange wedges against melon balls,
and finish with bananas sliced thin
and pomegranate seeds leaking the finest juice.
Next comes the cream, a single peak,
then a sprig of mint found by the boy next door
while looking for the white wings of a dove.