Today’s featured resource is Brevity Magazine’s archive of craft essays.
And here’s our daily (optional) prompt. Start by reading Alberto Rios’s poem “Perfect for Any Occasion.” Now, write your own two-part poem that focuses on a food or type of meal. At some point in the poem, describe the food or meal as if it were a specific kind of person. Give the food/meal at least one line of spoken dialogue.
I’m writing this poem for my younger daughter, who, joined University this year. It’ll be her first time away from home on her birthday which falls in May. Mango custard crumble is her favorite dish and it’s become a tradition for me to make it on her special day. When I told her of today’s prompt, she suggested I write on her favorite dessert as a way to make up for not being able to have it. So, here’s my poem.
Mango custard crumble
a layer of crumbled cookie
covered with crème moulée
and topped with diced mangoes,
you are, the one respite from summer’s woes.
You’re a blessing; my daughter adores you
Not only that, you’re a respite from Summer’s loo
But you give her reason
to smile during the exam season –
in the torturous month of May
when comes her birthday.
Luckily for me, you make it easy
to earn the title of ‘World’s best mommy’!
I wish I could make you every day
Then I could have my way
Don’t laugh! You don’t have to deal with a teen.
“I understand. There’s no need to get all prickly and mean.
I would have helped if I could
But, the problem is with getting the right mangoes.
It’s best when you use Alphonsos.”
Not every mango goes into the dessert
just the best, the sweetest.
Yellow-green, when plucked
and to ripen, on a crib of hay, boxed.
Watched over like a baby
until the mangoes softly say they’re ready
Filling the air with a sweetness
and blushing with a delicate tenderness.
Skinned and diced
over the layer of crème moulée
that tops a sheet of crumbled cookies.
The ones that don’t meet the criteria,
however, should not be considered trivia.
They’re used to making aam ras*,mango puree)
and eaten with deep-fried bread, poori.
with a few dainty strands of saffron soaked in milk, a dash of ginger
But, you don’t need the sweetest or the best variety of mango
to make puree. So, it’s possible the Alphonso
does feel disrespected.
In fact, it might even feel dejected
Not that it matters, I suppose,
Either way, puree, dessert or plain, it gets devoured
And is loved
Although, I think it would feel empowered
if it knew how much it’s awaited.
Despite the fact that it comes only with summer’s heat,
As it is in the embrace of the warm wind, the mangoes ripen
And with them, carry
Bag loads of memory
the air filled with the fragrance of ripe mangoes
how its mere thought makes every face glow-
Fighting for the best of the lot
Squeezing the pulp out
the warm, yellow, sticky juice trickling
down the arms; chuckling.
Its sweet sight and sound enough to get an Indian smiling
I guarantee you.
Try saying ‘Mango’ to an Indian and you’ll know this is true.
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