What I thought you
Were gonna tell me.
Hope is a thin slice of
Lemon to make a meringue.
I hope you got more than that, or
We are going to have one weak pie.
Who, the hell, starts a bakery on hope?
An etheree is a ten line poem where the first line has one syllable, the second has two, and so on until you have ten syllables on the tenth line. You can learn more about the etreree and other poetic forms at Shadow Poetry. Check it out here: http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/etheree.html
I wrote this poem in response to David’s poetry challenge at Skeptic’s Kaddish. His prompt for Wea’ve Written Weekly is to write a poem with the word ‘hope’ in response to the poem that he has posted here: https://skepticskaddish.com/2022/05/04/w3-prompt-1-weave-written-weekly/
His poem is a hopeful one about leaving an old job for something better to come. Mine is a skeptical one about starting a new business that seems destined to fail.
The doe eyed gal
And fragrant with words,
Breath, oil, and fire.
Just toss in the aromatics.
Doe eyed with the fire. Fragrant.
Peaceful in our cook space.
But threatening to burn.
Moving the doghouse,
The chickens are happy that
You let the bugs free.
A back porch chair and
One lazy person using
A bucket for a footrest.
Two children conspire
To capture a chicken but
Only spook the flock.
Meowling cat counters
A goat in standoff with
Arched back, claws, and teeth.
In the backyard grease
Pops in a 3 gallon pot
For the fish to fry.
Steaming corn kernels
Floating in their own sweet broth
Golden and waiting.
Particle board dipped
In batter and fried, frozen,
And reheated at home.
In the pan spouts a geyser
When poked with a fork.
I write in the kitchen and the words come
As the darkened leather of dried chilies
Their seeds shaking like maracas until
Cut open and poured into the old ice
Cream container where the scraps are kept bound
For the compost heap to be spread in the
Garden. To come up as volunteers. To
Be cut down as weeds. And the chilies are
Chopped and then ground into powder, added
To other spices, and boiled with dried
Tomatoes and chopped steak for several
Hours before they are ladled out to
The page to be read alone or with cheese,
Onions, and a dollop of sour cream.
Over cooked. Words and fire in the pan.
Preaching truth to power. Not brown enough.
The schoolyard fragrant with words and wind as
You were hoping it was. The doe eyed gal.
The joints. A grave. Oil and flour all
Medium heat had worked. Not brown enough.
Just toss in the vegetables. The oil
To the fire. The doe eyed gal with her
Muscle. Fragrant. Flagrantly so. Don’t
Walk away. Peaceful in our safe space.
But threatening to burn. Not brown enough.
At a point where Asian reporters have
Contracted white privilege. If you’re not black,
You must know that you are not brown enough.