April 8, 2015

The Poetry of Food


You slide an Amarone bottled in 1992
from your Vermont farm house wine rack
where it dutifully collects telling dust.
“Dalla cantina di Nonna Dina”: you name
our grandmother’s treasured cellar, cool
even in summer’s noon, like your
tincture room that holds plants’
healing alchemy.
Being sent to the basement in those days
seized me with dreadful delight
as I went downstairs weaving
wordless images of what might lurk
behind that cellar door.

Deep breath.

Open wide to the sweet, dank scent
of white mold-crusted sausages dangling from top shelves
where Fontina wheels peer their butter-dulled rinds
in feast anticipation. Lower yet –
shiny jars of apricot jam;
proud dark bottles of elderberry syrup;
dried wild mushrooms bagged in muslin; crusty rye bread wrapped
in brown paper – all carefully preserved
with the simple patience essential
to mountains.

There, gleaming with egg-wash
on the metal work table,
I spotted my charge. Crostata di mele.

Bravely I carried the delectable apple tart
upstairs to the kitchen.
I did not imagine that this realm
could become memory’s anchor
through gusts of years.

When you show me
this wine in your kitchen, I remember
the rubbled road that leads from the house
to the stream and back, walked so often

that I never feel lost again.

Workshop: The Poetry of  Food

Would you like to write about the poetry of food?
Join Jesse Lovasco and me 
on Tuesday, April 14th from 6 to 8 pm 

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