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Kieffers

By John I. Blair

In our yard on Woodcrest Street
There stood a pear tree,
Hard and crunchy kieffers,
The kind you cannot eat as-is.

The flowers were white and pretty;
The ripened pears were fragrant;
We saw how jays and squirrels ate them
And figured we might try.

I picked a bunch, a bushelful,
Gnawed and browned, grit like sand;
Then we sat around our table
Trimming each by hand,

Chunking them in pieces,
Plunking them into a pot,
Simmering with spices
Until they softened up enough

We could shove them through a sieve
And filter out the grit,
Adding just a hint of citrus
Before we sealed the jars.

That was many years ago;
But even now I miss
Those homely kieffer pears
And the faith that made them sweet.

2014 John I. Blair


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