Donald Zirilli

A Zombie’s Take On Walnuts

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You know those packs you can buy
of walnuts carefully shelled
in halves, with the occasional quarter
to show nobody’s perfect?

And you know how hard it is to open
a walnut with crackers, while you’re sitting
by the fire and how the shell always
gets mixed up with the pieces of the kernel?

And how you feel you’ve won if, just
occasionally, you can extract a complete nut
intact and drop the shell in the
bucket, as tinder for the next fire?

Well that. So how do they make
up packs of walnut kernels? Gangs
of subtle-fingered women in some
poor part of the world, or a crazy machine,

patented in Longnan, which strikes with just
the force required to take the shell halves off,
to remove the thin screens between
the ruffles of the nut?

However delicate your movement,
the shelling of a walnut, from
China, California, Turkey or Ukraine
is just too hard to get your head around.

It’s so much easier with skulls.