Kathleen Brewin Lewis

Waiting for a Pear to Ripen in Pittsburgh


My first trip to the city with the stolid name, steely past. I arrive dulled, laden. At the hotel conference center, the wait staff sets a bowl of fruit on the table. I take a firm green pear to my room, hope it will ripen by week’s end. 

I did not imagine this would be Pittsburgh: three eloquent rivers rimmed with wooded hills, crossed with yellow bridges. After sunset, wild geese fly black and noisy against remnant light.

I could be a different person if there were always rivers flowing outside my window—and I only had to cross the street at dusk to walk their banks. The moon throws its light on the Allegheny just before a confluence with the Monangahela, shimmering foil for the stadium’s gaudy glow. The breeze whiffs of oak leaves.

For six nights, alone in my hotel room, I dream of rivers, sense something loosening. On this last morning, the pear—blushed, golden—yields to my touch.


Kathleen Brewin Lewis is a Georgia writer and author of two chapbooks of poetry, Fluent in Rivers and July's Thick Kingdom (FutureCycle Press 2014 and 2015). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Southern Humanities Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, and The Christian Century. Whenever possible, she heads to the North Georgia and North Carolina hills for a hike. 


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