Saturday, May 7, 2016

Paper Shell Pecans--By G. Louis Heath--United States

Paper Shell Pecans

I harvested them as a teen summers on our ranch.
I knocked them down, picked them up, took them
to Mom in the kitchen. She packaged them for sale,
easy to shell, easy to sell, fast food from a tree.

I ate some last week, studied the shells for a while,
a long while. My Mom appeared, fully alive and well.
It is so, though she’s been gone years. She’s smiling
at me now, showing me an apron full of pecans.

Mom is gone but she isn’t. She’s here and she’s not.
Mom still struggles. The pecan I placed in her grave
became a tree, a tall paper shell in a cemetery of oaks.
When it’s ready, it sheds its bounty on my Mom.

G. Louis Heath, Ph.D., Berkeley, 1969, teaches at Ashford University, Clinton, Iowa. He retires in June, 2016 because his university is closing. He enjoys reading his poems at open mics. He often hikes along the Mississippi River, stopping to work on a poem he pulls from his back pocket, weather permitting. His books include Mutiny Does Not Happen Lightly, Long Dark River Casino and Vandals In The Bomb Factory. His most recent poems have been published in Dead Snakes, Poppy Road Review, Writing Raw, Inkstain Press, Verse-Virtual, Eunoia Review and Squawk Back. He can be contacted at     


  1. This is just very glad to see it here at Whispers! I have to share this one on my timeline on Facebook. - Laura M Kaminski

  2. Wow! A super write. I quite enjoyed it.

  3. Dear G.Louis,

    I really enjoyed this heartfelt poem. I have similar feeling about my Grandfather. We clicked already when I was a toddler. I felt at one with his gentle presence. Welcome to Whispers! I hope you enjoy your time spent here and your writing journey.


  4. G. Louis, Welcome to Whispers. Thank you for sharing that touching poem that I so much enjoyed reading. Brings back memories. Like Karen, I was one with my maternal grandfather. Your poem reminds me of special times he and I shared. Continued blessings to you!

    -MJ (

  5. Very creative and unique. Caring! Thanks for a really unusual read!