Food

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pimp My Lent/Day 28

The Prompt:

from Diva Jodi Wright…

“I mean – I felt so beautiful. So alive. I only had 3 Little Debbies, 4 Samoas, a Blizzard, a Dilly bar, and a whopping spoonful of strawberry dump cake to dull the sense. That seems reasonable.”

The Product:

Three poems about food. One wry, one silly, and one waxing nostalgic and still longing for the woman in the picture above, my maternal grandmother Iva Ina Monkres Pybas, 1904-1991.

I.

rich foods

and romance novels

about rich people

impossibly beautiful women

in creamy white dresses

dark men dark eyes dark suits

the smell of

spices exotic

whipping

up the imagination

to a froth and dulling

down the ache

bubbling effervescing popping

til the fizz goes

flat         again

empty

calories

II.

Once “Little Debbie”

ate her own snacks every day

she became “Big Deb”

III.  Three Meals a Day

Three meals a day, rain or shine

maybe a cold supper now and then –

From the time she was four years old,

She cooked three meals a day.

Father died so

Mother worked and

the brothers and sisters had to be fed so

she at age four

pulled a chair up to the stove

and got an early start

on a 76-year career as

chief cook and bottle washer

on the flat Oklahoma prairie.

Three meals a day, rain or shine

maybe a cold supper now and then –

But most often it was

handmade yeasty buns basted in butter,

a pot of pinto beans with ham,

maybe a roast now and then

(or chicken done up every which way

because she knew well

how to wring their necks),

with whatever was ready in the garden,

or canned in the cellar.

Sometimes it was catfish

if they were biting,

occasionally frog-legs, or rabbit.

Three meals a day, rain or shine

maybe a cold supper now and then –

She fixed lunches and Sunday dinners

and breakfast every day,

no matter what.

Eggs, bacon or sausages,

creamy milk gravy,

biscuits from scratch,

fresh milk and butter.

Even towards the end of their lives,

it didn’t matter what they ate.

They never stopped working.

Three meals a day, rain or shine

maybe a cold supper now and then –

She was 13 years younger than him

bore him 9 children

wore aprons and stockings and print dresses

until she got her first pantsuit in the 1970s

and loved it.

She wore sensible shoes and glasses,

powdery blush and maybe a little smell-good

(but only on Saturdays going to town

to buy food for the week or maybe on Sundays to

church).

She fed anybody who came to the house,

friends, family, field hands, and

hobos who wandered up the hill from the RR tracks

looking for work or just looking hungry,

She withstood them

all those kids and the working men

tromping through her house.

She blushed and laughed behind her hand

at his rough humor,

or swatted him on the arm, warning “Now, Jess.”

She worked

in the house, the yard, the garden.

She knew how to handle a shovel, a rake

a hoe when snakes got too close.

She could turn a broom lethal

to any mouse showing hide, hair, or tail

in her kitchen.

Three meals a day, rain or shine

maybe a cold supper now and then –

even after the kids were grown and gone,

because then came the bumper crop:

grandchildren and great-grandchildren,

a great over-flowing caldron of kids.

Three meals a day, rain or shine

maybe a cold supper now and then –

Cookies, cakes, pies and cobblers

saving a little left-over dough

sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar

baked separate for the picky one

who did not care for the blackberries,

only the crust.

Three meals a day, rain or shine

maybe a cold supper now and then –

until he got sick and began to fade away,

and there were so many trips

up and back to the City to the VA hospital

that there wasn’t time to cook supper,

and so somebody brought in

a big bag of hamburgers –

McDonalds.

She didn’t know what to do with them,

so she set them out in the table

all of them in a big serving bowl,

bundles of yellow and white waxed paper,

and she then sat down

at the head of the table

in his chair

with me on her lap,

and stared at those hamburgers

like they were

some bizarre alien cuisine.

She had so much of not much,

her whole life long,

and still somehow

nobody ever went hungry.

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About Vicki Caroline Cheatwood

Writerly. Rebooting. Evolving. Searching for great chicken salad.
This entry was posted in Pimp My Lent, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

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