My sixth-grade teacher’s grandmother held a grudge against bananas. When she immigrated from Poland, someone at Ellis Island handed her one, but didn’t show her how to eat it. She choked the whole thing down, peel and all. 

What kind of fruit makes the best filling for a pie graph? Globally, only 55 percent of people live in countries with adequate availability to meet the five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.  

Growing up, I loved the fruit pizza in the buffet at the Nebraska chain Valentino’s. The dough was just dough, but the sauce was icing, and the toppings were blueberry jam and little pebbles of streusel. 

I heard on the radio that if we all ate enough fruits and vegetables, there’d be huge shortages. Diets are responsible for more deaths than smoking. People are simultaneously overweight and malnourished.

It can take quite a while for an idea to bear fruit.

Canning rarely improves what’s canned, but fruit can be an exception. How the grapes in fruit cocktail bob like slimy eyeballs! How happily I would eat them all!

In English, the color orange is named after the fruit, which didn’t arrive until the 1500s. Chaucer wrote about Chanticleer the Rooster dreaming of a fox invading the barnyard whose “color was betwixt yelow and reed,” mixing the color as a painter might.

We were standing in a kitchen, chopping up pineapple, when my friend Eileen turned to me and said with vehemence, “I hate it when somebody only eats a little bit of fruit.”

My spouse’s boss refuses to eat fruit because “It squirts in your mouth.”

My favorite fruits are the ones for which seasons still matter. Good luck getting a ripe fig in Chicago in January. Fuck the expectation that you should be able to.

A tomato is technically a fruit but functionally a vegetable. Rhubarb is technically a vegetable but functionally a fruit. I don’t find pedants particularly cute.

The “Hail Mary” is an otherwise beautiful prayer, but the line “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus,” feels cringey. Then again, a fruit is the ripened ovary of a flower with its included seeds, so more than likely the problem is me.

Fruit of the Loom is a decent name for a company, and a pretty good Bible joke.

The metaphors of business-speak are vacuous, but literal low-hanging fruit is fun to pick.

A grape vine takes five years to harvest, an apple tree six to ten, an avocado as long as fifteen.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

When life gives you bananas, make banana bread.

When agriculture collapses, fruit is what I’ll miss the most.

Is Jesus the last fruit I should think of before I’m dead?

Kathleen Rooney
 is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press and a founding member of Poems While You Wait. Her most recent books include the novels Lillian Boxfish Takes a WalkThe Listening Room, and Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey. She lives in Chicago and teaches at DePaul.

Photo by Amy Selwyn