Gospel Isosceles posted a lovely prompt at the dVerse Poets Pub encouraging us to write about a secret ingredient. I had a hard time thinking of a response because I already have a strange poem I wrote several years ago. I know it’s cheating to post an old poem, but I’m well aware that poets are forever ready to extend a little license. My poem has a dark twist – or so I thought until my fellow artist and friend Michelle asked me if she could switch the genders in the poem and read it at Thanksgiving dinner !! And she did. So maybe my twist is too subtle. Let me know…
A Morel Tale
Wild mushrooms simmer in sauce
brandy, cream, saffron shallots…
She fills a pork loin with apricot and fig
sliding a thin sharp blade into pale flesh
twisting his knife ninety degrees to form a cross,
stuffing dry fruit toward the center
with the blunt end of a wooden spoon.
Sliced the roast will fall in rows
hearts marked out in juicy black or orange,
pretty bull’s eyes ready for an arrow.
The table sparkles, laid for two
hand-rubbed silver, crystal goblets
frosted blue and glass Italian plates
veined in glowing leaves and holding,
in their clear depths, a purple droop
of delicate wisteria.
She gathers morels in the morning
quartering the apple orchard,
fingers thrust down knuckle deep in dirt
to break stems off beneath the soil.
Morels can fool you, presenting
false faces to less than careful eyes;
cunning as a woman harboring secrets.
She will eat the morels, so will he.
Later they will lie down together
on crisp sun-scented sheets
with time enough to dream
before the first spasm wakes them.