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'Grapefruit / Chadek'

By Valerie Déus

My mother and I talked about how we both got sick on grapefruit once.

We both described the wretched feeling

the dry heaving

all the mucus and tears

the fainting and fear of dying.

My mother said that day

she learned to respect the grapefruit. Mwen respekte'l

But I'm still afraid.

From grapefruit soda to candy,

I tread lightly around grapefruit flavors

while just the smell brings the death sick memory back.

My mother laughed. "I still eat it" she says, "except now, I know."

Mwen konnen'l, Mwen respekte'l