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Posts Tagged ‘bitter’

It’s been a while since I’ve put up a poem. As usual, it’s pretty rough. I like a lot about it and I think I can make it work.

I’m almost done with my manuscript, but struggling to make a couple of poems tighter. AND I HATE writing cover letters. Oh, help!

Vinegar and Sugar
(the German word for please is bitte)

In my mother’s brain,
the area responsible for taste
has interchanged
with the area responsible
for memory

She does not ask me for “Vinegar sugar soup, bitte

But when I make lentils
for dinner,
she slyly opens the pantry door
(as if her desire to have a secret makes her invisible),
takes out the bottle of white vinegar,
and pours it into the soup

Mom, it already has vinegar in it

I like a lot, she says

She moves on to sneak the sugar bowl from the cupboard
and dances teaspoon after teaspoon
into her vinegar soup

All my Oma really wanted to eat
when she reached her 90s
was Schokolade

She stashed it in drawers
and behind books,
wrapped it in cloth and kerchiefs
in her little room
where they put her
with her little window
high up on the hill
at the top of the small
German town where she lived
most of her life
and died her only death

Now my mother
wants only sweet and sour
around her

She forgets
that she hates soup
and soup with beans
and that all they had to eat during the war
was soup
and beans
and her father’s rabbits and rooster

So,
sour or sweet,

who am I to stop her, bitte?

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