Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Bad Cook (Poem)

The Bad Cook

She tried to

carefully, broke
the last wish

bone cleanly
in two, even

kept the stuffing
from erupting

between the legs,

the heart secure
inside. Knowing

she was no cavity
of emptiness, she

weighed the his
and hers proportions —

of salt to pepper,
rosemary to thyme,

garlic to red wine
vinegar — thinking

to let red juices run
a bit before dipping

and raising
the silver spoon

full of drippings,
coating the body,

and tender before

his serrated knife
and three-tined fork

could cut into
the too-common

pattern of tasting,
then seasoning

more. She watched
fate's slender finger

point as caress
of mouth on skin

barely managed
what the nose

already knew:
the garnish never

enough to mask
the stench of toast

burnt black for
morning's repast;

she, no longer
loving and wanting

out, recalling again
how silence

always follows
the hissing maple

honey bacon frying
in the pan she

stirred his eggs too
easy. Over words,

repeated daily
like an incantation,

often enough
to not be

heard, she
simmered long,

a turned down
flame, dismissing

what was needed
to apply more heat.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas


Ruth said...

This is a delightful, if sad, play of food and relationship. Delicious language, literally and figuratively!

Louise Gallagher said...

Yes. Delicious language.

Sadness pervades
And still
the food must be made

HisFireFly said...

Food and love, so intertwined
we starve
we feast
serve or deny

lovely poem Maureen!

Anonymous said...

that's it
add a little more spice
hot hot peppers
would be nice
turn up the heat
turn down the light
beat those eggs hard
then beat them twice

Hannah Stephenson said...

"A turned down flame"--so sad.

hedgewitch said...

A wonderful use of symbol and comparison, so appropriate to the theme of relationship, always a recipe successfully executed only by complete serendipity or a pair of master chefs. From 'burnt toast' on I was wondering how the metaphors could keep coming at that level, and amazed at the skill with which they did.

Anonymous said...

well done... sweet and savory all together

Kathleen Overby said...

This page is a hot griddle where tears sizzle dry

Chris G. said...

A sad, yet savory bit of language for us here - a relationship excellently engaged through the image; a tragedy to see such things burnt.

Brian Miller said...

nice the food and cooking made me think of the holidays but you also brought in some nice thoughts as well regarding the relationships in our lives...nice maureen...

Joyce Wycoff said...

A heartbreaker. So easily does love slip away. Beautifully done.

Heaven said...

I love how you used the metaphor of cooking and preparing to their dwindling fire or relationship. Subtle and beautiful write...

I love your simple yet creative take on this ~

ayala said...

Great how you used the metaphor so perfectly. Nice write.

Michael Ann said...

I am not as clever with words as all your previous visitors, but I can tell you I thought this poem was amazing.

Glynn said...

There's a staccato quality to this, emphasizing the breaking down of relatiionship, not to mention the problem of bad cooking. Good poem, Maureen.