Dear Flor

by Ana Pugatch

There was that one oil painting
you hung in our front hallway—
remember? Let’s call it

Bowl of Pears. I could reach out,
trace the fluorescent blush
of cheek. Look more closely,

see its clustered, burning cells.
Even in the dark, the canvas diffused
its heat—warmed our house

in wintertime. You told me
about the old tree once while
canning pears. They were hard

and you cut them in half.
But that was many years ago,
and I don’t have it in me

to visit you. I never can or
paint fruit. I still dream of the tree
with its clusters of petals—

their faintly rotten scent.


Ana Pugatch is a Pushcart-nominated poet based in Raleigh, NC. She was the ’20-’21 Heritage Fellow at George Mason University, and has won the Atlantis Award and the McIntyre Light Verse Award. Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Review and elsewhere.

Image: Dan Gold