[Originally published in Dialogue Summer 2015]
Even manna stops tasting sweet
after so many plates
I said to the Christmas ham,
cold ceramic tile under my bare feet.
The ham stared back at me,
stark in refrigerator light,
oblivious to the lull between holidays
we both occupied.
To twist a carving knife
bathed in honey and salt
in my side,
the ham reminded me of
my famished ancestors crossing the plains.
A pack of gingham-clad
widows of Zarephath
carefully forming the last of their flour
into a simple cake.
Certainly, I said to nobody,
pioneer men proud of their kills
wished some buffalo were
not quite so big.
Certainly there were times
they said silent prayers of thanks
for the brevity of a duck.
I fix myself a plate of buffalo
for the fifth consecutive meal.
And I pray over my leftovers
but do not ask for fish and loaves
No, but for simple gratitude.
For the ability to appreciate this cup
that keeps spilling all over
my immaculate kitchen floor.