What's That Smell in the Kitchen?:Favoite Poem by Marge Piercy

 Mom used to make  a basic potato soup that was so delicious. It contained potatoes, celery, onion, and evaporated milk. I jazzed up her recipe today with some clams, carrots, bacon, and garlic.

Food has been the inspiration for many poems. This one by Marge Piercy is one that makes me laugh out loud every time I read it. Although the soup was tasty tonight, the bread slices broiled just a bit too much and I am sure my husband was asking this same question.

What’s That Smell in the Kitchen?                       
Marge Piercy

All over America women are burning dinners.                                                  
It’s lambchops in Peoria; it’s haddock in Providence; it’s steak in Chicago;
tofu delight in Big Sur; red
rice and beans in Dallas.
All over America women are burning                                                                
food they’re supposed to bring with calico
Smile on platters glittering like wax.
Anger sputters in her brainpan, confined
But spewing out missiles of hot fat.
Carbonized despair presses like a clinker                                                         
from a barbecue against the back of her eyes.
If she wants to grill anything, it’s
her husband spitted over a slow fire.
If she wants to serve him anything
It’s a dead rat with a bomb in its belly                                                             
ticking like the heart of an insomniac.
Her life is cooked and digested,
nothing but leftovers in Tupperware.
Look, she says, once I was roast duck
On your platter with parsley but now I am Spam.                                           
Burning dinner is not incompetence but war.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! I have not read this piece before & read it now at the perfect moment!


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