Food and Memories

I’ve started to notice that I seem to be writing increasing numbers of poems in a “list” style. Not sure what that means, but it’s interesting to watch what seem to be my annual idiosyncrasies. (There was a year when, for whatever reasons, I wrote many poems using mostly imagery of birds and flight.)

Today I became a bit meditative about food and its symbolic importance, so that was my cue for a poem. Enjoy (I hope)!

(DAY 21)

One of the, let's say, iconic birds of my childhood. (Image via the relevant Wikipedia entry.)
One of the, let’s say, iconic birds of my childhood. (Image via the relevant Wikipedia entry.)

The Ringdove

Just a taste of your food
was enough to remind me
that I had been a willing pilgrim
once. I took a bite and became
all the ingredients:
the memory of another mother
remembering another mother
as she folded the leaves;
that word that cannot be
translated, but whose meaning
everyone knows; the candle
you might have lit were it not
for this dish that needed
cooking, and my mouth
that need scalding;
the oil blessed by your hands;
the tremor of the table
under your preoccupied
ministrations. It has always
seemed to me that
you pour prayers in your
pots and pans. I
take a bite and hear again
the song of the ringdove
questioning its own identity.

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