Sunday, April 17, 2005

ingelegde kool

ashamed nevertheless I laugh
at her larder’s contents
the date on one jar
says (apparently) 1987
its contents no longer burgundy but
grey, shrivelled

                                                  ...are endless others
the worst oyster sauce 1991
and so it goes on and on
and on until I nearly burst

but it is this
this cabbage
so right-at-the-
so preserved
so having been round the world
by international packers and removers

which represents the year their daughter
had her first seizure and there is to this day
as far as I know a debate between the

parents as to who carried
the unconscious child
to the hospital

I understand it now: jar as perfection's
headstone priced in gilders
and I see a cruel man
toying with a mother’s


and me, sarcastic, locked in acid bile
having bought the lies, lid,
complicit, hook, line
and sinker

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