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Two Poems By Edward Nudelman

Apple or Pear

As I remember, I was led across her back yard, pulled along

like an unwilling duffle bag attached to a fatty, clenched fist

with enormous purpose.  My grandmother’s lawn was sprinkled

with aromatic trees that bore voluptuous fruit; walking through

to the old man’s house, was to pass from garden to wasteland. 

I still wonder about the trees- were they apple or pear?


The little house had a bad smell.  Yellow reams of newspaper

and moldy fabric draped chairs as if to provide extra padding.

I sat on the edge of one, consumed by the odor.  A parade

of cats modeled matted scruffy coats, intermittingly.  I tried

to take it all in without breathing. I remember not wanting to

gag. Now, when I recall the smell, I want to breathe it in.


He sat beside us, chanted on and on with a strange lilt (I thought

it was Irish) and slowly opened her gift from a patterned cloth.

Then he peeled apples or pears, unraveled them like these men do

(from Warsaw, using just one hand), so that the spiral peeling falls

in one long piece to the floor.  He worked the knife slowly, kept in

perfect sync to the rhythm of Yiddish and bobbing heads.  Finally,

he cut perfect wedges with just his thumb and fore finger.


Reddish Rose

The beauty of the rose

Is in its vaulted flower

That turns and twists

And inward grows

Within celestial tower.

The beauty of the field

Is in its pink-laced clover

That thrives and spreads

And will not yield

In greenest grass all over.

The beauty of your face

Is in its mildest mien

That lures and calls

My best embrace

With looks I’ve never seen.

I bring you reddish rose

From distant clovered green,

With all the bliss

From poem and prose

And all that lies between.



Edward Nudelman shares...

EDWARD NUDELMAN is a graduate of the University of Washington and is working in the Boston area as a scientist in the field of cancer research. Some of his poems have been published in The Orange Room Review, The White Leaf Review, Alone Together, Adagio Verse Quarterly, Because We Write, Thick with Conviction, Dispatch Lit Review and now Shine. He has received awards for his prose and has written two acclaimed books on a 20th Century American artist. He is a correspondent on poetry for Gather, an NPR-funded writing vehicle.  His motivations for these poems follow.

Reddish Rose

I had considered making this into a sonnet, but I needed the extra space to convey a feeling of not only intrinsic beauty in appearance, but also in
action.  Thus, the rose has its flower
, but think how it moved and twisted to make that tower.  The field with all its expanse of green, can only sit
back and watch as something perhaps even more beautiful takes over its essence (clover).  Ah, your face, what else more wonderful can true beauty
do, but lure and call to embrace?  Finally, back to the rose, and here’s a purpose for beauty:  to be given as a gift.


Apple or Pear

I loved my little (4 foot 9 inch) Yiddish grandma who had pluck and kick and yet was one of the sweetest, most compassionate people I’ve ever known.  She loved that “old man,” (even while her Henry was still alive), in the most purest of ways.  And she’d make that trek across the fruit tree-speckled lawn almost every day to supply the old man from Warsaw his needed victuals.   We grandkids got to go along, on occasion.  And this is just a snapshot of one of those visits.