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My favorite fruit



Para kay Lola, habang siya ay nasa ospital.


That’s what we call it in the Philippines,

that sweet citrus fruit

that bursts with a cool tropical flavor

the moment that it meets your lips.


I saw some in Costco today, with the unfamiliar term Pomelo in big bold letters.

It made me think of you, Lola.

It’s been over a decade and nearly two

since the last time I’ve had some suha.

And although this wasn’t the first time I’ve seen it at an American supermarket

It was the first time I was compelled to buy it.


I thought about your hands

and the delicate way they peeled

through the thick skin,

The fluffy white rind

of the suha,

Matching the cotton-candy like texture

of your light grey hair.

I ran a finger down the length of the rind

and they were soft

like your curls.


I cut into the pink flesh and they matched perfectly

the color of your rosy cheeks

on a humid day.

I remember how you would sit at the table

for what seemed like hours,

peeling one suha after another,

humming Bible hymns to pass the time,

until you had a mountain

of perfectly shaped little pink wedges.


So I did the same, Lola,

and I thought about you the whole time.


I wondered how many pomelos you’ve peeled

in the 95 years of your life?

I wondered if you dream about their sweet tartness,

or miss the feel of its smooth peel,

or remember the name of the shade of rouge

that matches perfectly, the color of the fruit?


I sprinkled salt on the side,

dipped each piece into the white mound,

and as each wave of delight filled

every taste bud in my mouth,

I remembered why suha

was my favorite fruit.


It has always been because it reminded me of you.




2 Comments leave one →
  1. shea permalink
    February.23.2011 10:17pm

    thinking of you and your family, lainerz. xoxoxo.

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