The new neighbors
who we didn’t know well, but didn’t like,
were going on a mission trip
so they knocked on our red door
and offered us three black avocados
and two ripe tomatoes
because, God bless us,
they didn’t want them to go to waste.
We were newly married then
and I had never tasted an avocado
or been in the same room with one.
My Indiana upbringing was void
of anything exotic or unknown—
and because my father had no appetite
for exploration, my mother,
(whose appetite for adventure was never satisfied)
filled our dinner table
with banal predictable flavors.
Those avocados did not enjoy salvation,
as our neighbors prayed they would.
It would be another ten years
before I’d have my first taste.
Dinner at a friend’s house—
burritos and sliced avocado.
I think about them sometimes—
those three wasted avocados—
how a sprinkling of salt and a spoon
would have changes our lives sooner
and for the better.
Eventually they moved away, our neighbors,
to start a new church up north.
We never liked them,
but had we known they’d given us
a fruit from heaven
we might have forgiven them
for the way everything they did
was in god’s name.