6 April 2016

April 6: Tasting memory

(today's prompt is to write a
food poem)

Nothing calls
like scent and taste:

sometimes, walking
down library shelves,
I catch a whiff of
and am transported
to the neck and arms
of somebody long

Sometimes something
tastes of boiled-fried
potatoes, the kind
that will only ever
remind me of two
long months in
South Africa,
aching for home
while learning
the world for
the first time.

Cold beer will always taste of
leisurely evenings at home.
Wine, of coffee mugs and
college room lit gently warm.

never seems to remind me
of the torture years of early
youth, when food was just
an ugly necessity.
Instead, I remember
when I learnt to love it:
a gangly teenager in
mother's arms, eating
yellow dal and aloo beans
out of her soft and lovely hands.

And sometimes, a wandering fragrance, even
unfamiliar beer, or cheap wine; remembering
fresh tomato mozzarella salad in warm shade,
blueberries in paper cups, cocktails brimming,
gelatos carved like gloriously petalled roses;

the stray memory of salivating
at something new, whilst
a river tidily thundered past,
or a sea sat lazily in the sand;
the gleaming sunloved cafes
of new cities that we, greedy,
memorized and tried to call
our own;

so much takes me back to
backpack and exhilaration;
a summer with the mother
a few lifetimes long.

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