Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Day 177 How I used to treat vegetables

Last week, I got a chance to peruse some handmade books in Portland Public Library's rare book room. During that experience, I came across this poem and wrote to the author for permission to share it with you.

The Tyranny of Fresh Vegetables
(copied with  permission from the book I WIll Burn Candles)

The parsnips I bought eight days ago
are losing their erections,
I am responsible.

My tomatoes are bruised,
I am the abuser.

This spinach will never know
the sweet caress of my fragrant vinaigrette.
I am the murderer.

Oh God Oh God.
Every week it happens --
innocent cabbage sprouts,
broccoli spears, expensive asparagus,
artichokes, Japanese eggplant.

I make promises.
I try. I buy
woks, steamers, cookbooks,
more cookbooks, and still they die,
hundreds a year,
limp and impotent.
My compost heap,
neglected and scrawny.
The garbage bag, glad
and obscene.

I don't deserve to buy them.
I shouldn't be allowed to roam free
in the ripe and rampant produce section.

I must be punished.

Banished to frozen foods.

Deborah Fannie Miller is a poet and award winning children’s book author who lives in Calgary, Alberta. Miller’s poetry has been showcased on CBC Radio, The Women’s Television Network, and Vision TV. She has been widely published in literary journals throughout Canada, is in two anthologies: Tributes in Verse and Writing the Terrain: Travelling through Alberta with the Poets, and has three collections of poetry published: I Will Burn Candles, Grandmother’s Radio, co-authored by Susanne Heinz, and  Landing at Night. Her first children’s book, Grappling with the Grumblies,  won the Steffie Young Readers Choice Award. Juggling the Jitters comes out in the fall of 2013.  

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