Opening a Pomegranate

by Lory Widmer Hess

A photo of a pomegranate cut open on a piece of slate

Surely this is the fruit
That Eve once plucked—
Not a bright, wholesome apple
With thin skin and pale flesh
But this dark glory
Shut up in red leather
This promise
Of infinite

Surely what she consumed
Were the bloody seeds
That planted in her
Our death

But death is sweet
In the eating, the living
Each bite bursts with flavor
To please eager tongues
The bitter core

Sucking sweet,
Chewing bitter,
We follow our mother
A dangerous forest

What can safely be known?
Which fruits can we pick?
Do we heed
The voice saying “No”
And avoid transgression and pain?
Or do we reach out
To the mystery’s heart
And taste
Its hidden joy?

Lory Widmer Hess
Lory Widmer Hess currently lives with her family in Switzerland, where she works with and learns from adults with developmental disabilities. Her writing has been published in Parabola, Kosmos Quarterly, Interweave Knits, Enchanted Conversation, Red Letter Christians, Ruminate: The Waking, and Christian Community Perspectives. She blogs about life, language, and literature at