Signature Dish

How did it happen? I don’t remember choosing
there was no proclamation that this was my turf
do something right once, it’s a tradition
sweet potatoes are my signature dish.

In late November I paw through produce at the grocery
and select the finest specimens for my cart
smooth and firm, large but not overwhelming
identical in size so they’ll be done at the same time.

Thanksgiving morning, I pull out the ancient cookbook
though I know all the steps by heart
the spine opens to the splattered recipe
and I turn on the radio.

I hear past holidays as I grind orange rind and grate nutmeg
joyful parties bursting with laughter, no one wanted to go home
disastrous celebrations destroyed by psychic tornadoes
restrained gatherings where we skated around one another cautiously.

How will we remember the holiday this year?
With root vegetables, I try to influence our fate
to enhance the odds of a happy ending
with sweet potatoes more delicious than cake.

 

 

 

About the Poet:
Sheila Wellehan’s poetry is featured or forthcoming in Chiron Review, The Fourth River, Poetry East, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Yellow Chair Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Visit her online at www.sheilawellehan.com .

 

 

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