In verse: Maine places and people

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Produced by Dennis Camire

This week’s poem is by Lisa Moore of Harrison.

 

Pickling beets

By Lisa Moore

 

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The steamy vinegar makes me cry.

     Let a tear fall into the kettle.

Is the fire hot enough?

     Yes, the pine makes it burn quick.

Look, the skins are falling off.

     They’re letting go, a little at a time.

How will we ever touch them?

     We’ll cool them off under cold running water.

Then we’ll cut them into pieces?

     Just so they’ll fit through the mouths of the jars.

What makes them so red?

     They are blood, the blood of the earth.

Can I pour the spice?

     Right up to the top of the curve of the belly.

I spilled some.

     Wipe the mouths with this soft diaper.

Do beets feel, Nana?

     Of course they do, they bleed when they boil.

Why do we hurt them?

     To eat. They understand.

Do they die?

     They change. They do not die.

What will they taste like?

     At Christmas, we’ll taste August.

Can I eat some now?

     No, wait.

What’s that sound?

     They’re telling us they’re sealed.

Sealed from what?

     Everything but themselves. Even winter.

Nana, look! Our hands are red!

     We look like them! We are.

 

Dennis Camire can be reached at dcamire@cmcc.edu

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