Butter beans poached in the garden’s green balm,
tender as forest-boar liver. Caramelized slab of potato,
crisp as apple from any royal tale. Two girls’ honed gazes;
children too charmed to know that evil cannot die dancing
in hot iron shoes. A mother’s newborn fennel, her emerald
mustard, her babiest kale—musts for the gullet. Yawps
of abandon, firm as the hogshead’s firmest blueberry
bounty. Each supple, each brittle blessing. One salted
glance into the mirror across the room at a crone-so-soon.
Distance and myth and time; their braided bitters.
A father’s nightly antics, his honest fare forwarding
autumn’s hunt. Lovage, for whatever plagues the heart
may also, rightly, burn the belly.
Jan Presley’s poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Comstock Review, Alimentum, Shot Glass Journal and Lucid Moose’s Like a Girl anthology; earlier work has won Writer’s Digest and other national contests.
Artwork: Laura Makabresku, The Life