Eating a Pear Reminds Me of Her

A poem about my grandmother.

Eating a pear reminds me of her:
my grandmother half a century ago
in her stalwart putty-grey brick house
with the pear tree in the yard
at 40 Euclid;
the sticky trickle down the heel of my nine-year-old hand
and onto my shorts
recalled as if it were today.

My drooping hydrangeas remind me of her:
brisk scissors in hand
reaping huge white blooms for her kitchen table
at six in the summer morning
from tall, straight stalks.

The smell, too, of my husband’s beer
evokes her neighbourhood drenched in the scent of Seagram’s
two streets away;
recalls how when we visited
the fragrance of yeasty hops,
familiar and constant,
seeped into all our unconscious perception
like a baptism.


  • Debbie Sawczak

    Debbie Sawczak has been writing poetry since high school and is an admirer of Hopkins, Donne, and Kenyon. Her poems have appeared in such publications as Crux, Arc, Writual, the U.C. Review, and the McMaster Journal of Theology and Ministry; online at McMaster Divinity College's "Poems for Ephesians"; and in the anthologies Adam, Eve, and the Riders of the Apocalypse and In a Strange Land. She has also enjoyed exposure through many public readings, including the Eden Mills Writers' Festival, community events, coffee bars, church liturgies, and most recently the Neilson Park Creative Centre in collaboration with Fellowship Church in Etobicoke, ON. Debbie's work as a professional editor and former bookseller has given her additional pathways into the beloved and stimulating world of text. She is married and has three adult sons.

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  1. A beautiful reminder to let our memories flow back to us from the subtle prompts our lives present.

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