Today, I was to cook up a poem in two parts. The recipe was supposed to focus on food or a meal. Part of the poem was to season the food as a person, and I was to give it some spoken dialogue.
Boiled versus Fried
- First this:
Newlyweds were we,
having moved to above her garage
from over on Waverly Way.
She fixed supper for us,
and I first met up with boiled fucking
okra, AKA, slimy green snot.
It was nineteen hundred and sixty-six;
we were 19; something, like this, well folks,
you just never forget, or forgive.
I’m certain I heard the grassy flavored
seed pods of gumbo thickener sing
eat me raw, you city slicker. We be worldwide.
I wanted to puke. I could’ve just died.
Embarrassed, I mannered-up and sighed.
And I swallowed the snotty lady’s fingers.
Little evil green monsters, till one day…
- Then this happened…
A crunchy cousin, nicely coated,
in some restaurant, called theirselves fried okra
provided texture to my tale and it was,
step back, Jack, we gunna treat ya well.
Old John Henry called it all “Okree,”
like old aunty of the Mallow family
with a funny first name
and John seemed to fuss over the food
in a good way, but I passed on boiled,
stewed, raw, or wrinkled. Fried
is the only okra for this damn Yankee.
Look both ways and learn to try, but texture counts.
Mind the gaps, but India grows most okra and now has the most people (not China),
and they must eat a lot of okra over there.