In spirit of the theme of our current writing contest, I wanted to share a food poem by the woman who inspired the bulk of my literary interests: my mom. She was the former senior poetry editor of MiPo Magazine and the co-editor of two print anthologies, Women of the Web available from Sun Rising Press, and from east to west: bicoastal verse (check out this free copy of the Winter ’07/’08 edition for some great food poetry). Her poems been published in journals such as Animus, Penumbra, Blue Fifth Review, Rock Salt Plum Poetry Review, Stirring, the Slow Trains anthologies, and in the textbooks, Language and Prejudice, and The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics. Find her poem, “Miss Brunswick Diner,” below.
Miss Brunswick Diner
The light will thicken, bind the morning commute,
tie bumper to hatchback as it solidifies smoke
blown cursive from half-lowered windows.
The light will, but at this hour, we’ve only the omen
of a day beyond our silver-bullet shell. For now,
the Early Bird Special is the guru, the golden calf.Short stacks studded with berries, flapjacks
materialized from froth of eggs, flour and milk
fall far from Black Sambos silver Jaguars whipping
themselves to butter around the rotary (a story only
whispered today). In this small circle, the inclusive
tin can, the waitress conserves momentum, balances
four farmer’s omelettes, stuffed with hash browns –
two on her hands, two on forearms whose straining
makes the sag of back upper arms noble and
knowing. She delivers one to the man on the end
of the line. He drinks coffee from a mug which waits
for him daily on a nail above sulphurous formica.
Two go to men in flame orange who promise
venison wrapped in thick white paper on the morrow.
The last is mine, and I can’t keep my eyes from
her netted ponytail, hair I imagine she spills
like water as day begins at the end of her shift.
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