on having to give up cheese

and butter, of course, though
our great society has long figured out
how to do fake butter

so now I’m left with these questions—
what about goat? how do I mourn
the loss of ice cream and every breakfast casserole

should I go to the garden walk with wine and ____ ?
I suppose there might be crackers

and how could a Texas girl with even great imagination
(I’ve hardly that) fathom these long remaining years
without a single enchilada?

and certainly, why now?
when so much of the joy has already slipped

my hermit days march forward
with stiff arms and fists

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Garden at the JJC, 2

Circumscribed by jail-fence, our privilege
to drop in once a week, we connect
a moment through this earth
fingers sweeping for carrot girth
radish shoulders (divided over kale)
notes on how your mothers make posole
how they worry
how they will adjust
when you finally come home

Everyday Therapy

It’s true, I’m no cook
like I’m no driver
but after morning tussles—
school, traffic, all those in a hurry
indiscriminately determined on disgust—
I take comfort in this kitchen

turning scraps, skin, bone to broth
full immersion into something
we all need: herb- and earth-
scents, gold warmth to fill
every dark corner

the chopping is one thing, cold knife
for everything you want to throw
smash rend destroy but
slow, slow down, I say
while I have this luxury
to seethe, stew, simmer all day

the worm-quest

to break through this green glaze of sameness—
small boxes with neat shrubs, hamburger-plain—
to the good brown dirt beneath, remembering our souls
built from lumps of clay prairie-stirred

wanting a spice, a song, a scent like your new penchant
for sriracha; a jolt, a leap into the vault beyond
this daily circuit, this merely driving
up and down arteries quickly clogging

they say if you’re not growing, you’re dying, but
I’ve been drying on this rack for years, home-grown
herbs medicinal to my kitchen motto: sauce on everything
until I become mere compost for the roots of the tree of life

 

Thanks and apologies to Jane for this borrowing of the worm quest.

Green Smoothie Confession

No delicacy, no food-worship here.
The last person to play connoisseur
I’m buying bulk in produce only
for the blender’s insatiable need
for fresh green of every shade
and texture—long-stemmed velvet
spinach, dry-ruffled flounces of kale
red-veined lady’s-fans of dark chard
(oh, less proud now than in the garden)—
I think nothing of beauty as I toss them
to the blade.
                         And fruit—you oranges
only pulp and rind and sticky juice;
seedy strawberries, blueberries
snatched from jewel-gleam dreams
of crowning a whipped-cream pillow;
apples seized from their still-life
in the blue bowl not to be thinly sliced
glazed, nested in a flaky pie-crust, no—
all destined for purplish mush, pulverized
with these rough fibrous neighbors
drowned in coconut water!
slurped through a straw

 

A food poem for NaPoWriMo Day 6.