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Artichoke

Grandpa eats every part of the artichoke,
savors each leaf without dressing,
consuming even the spiky part on the end.
He patiently chews the spiny, soft interior,
masticating each singularity of the plant
to its very core.
His daughter laughs
at his innocent, frugal folly;
spines and discarded leaves cover her plate--
she knows the parts that are edible.
His granddaughter is not yet old enough
to eat artichokes.
She will grow up in a world
nibbling at the leaves
that sees the forest of spines beneath
and throws the plant away.
Maybe she will be the one
to retrieve the rejected plant from the garbage,
patiently peel away the layers,
and discover the heart.
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Submitted on May 02, 2011

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