In Praise of the Brazil Nut

Dipping my hand into the party mix, I retrieve you, Brazil Nut.
Although you mingle well with others – pecans, filberts, almonds –
you want the limelight and will not be dominated in the nut bowl.

Meaty and long, your brown membrane peels as if sunburned in Amazon jungle
before your journey to a North American store.

You are smooth and cool to the touch.
I pop you in my mouth and roll you like a stone.

Tentative molars bite down and my saliva engulfs you.
I am fooled into believing you are a baked potato.
In flavor, you could be cousin to Ireland’s spud.

Thank you for traveling so far to feed me.




Death and Life washed up on the shore, lying on the sands of Alki Beach.
Curious on-lookers gathered near to point at
the inert, dark mass
more rock than mammal,
its ebony flesh age-battered.
No more frolics in the waves.
No more suppers of fish and kelp.

Close by the seal pup
blinked its eyes,
dorsal tail waving and I thought of the story
of the Little Mer-Baby lost at sea,
swept home on a wave.
“Should we call Fish and Wildlife?” someone asked.

The pup winked and turned to the sun.
With no worries of its fate.