Poetry Breakfast #7 – This Once Was A Love Poem

Photo credits to Michael Coppens/@urbanhoustonian – both for the omelette and his redemption omelette at the end. Many thanks.

This Once Was An Omelette
warmest regards to Jane Hirshfield

This once was an omelette,
before its yolk thickened, its whites grew tough,
before it found itself sitting,
perplexed and a little embarrassed,
on the lip of a nonstick pan,
while a weary cook walked away not turning his head.

It remembers itself beating as if for a great engagement.
It remembers choosing these peppers,
this salt or herb.

Once, it drank cream for breakfast,
mixing its yolk
in a bowl side by side with the yolk of another.

Once it pretended reticence, then grew truly mixed,
yielding its strands so the whites would beat in,
so the albumen would not be seen.

It spoke with passion of chickens, of eggs.
It was lovely then, this omelette.
Under its skin, no curd of egg browned.
Inside the roll, just creamy yellow curd.
What it knew in the morning it still believed at nightfall.
An unconquered confidence lifted its form, its shape.

The longing has not diminished.
Still it understands. It is time to consider frying,
the scrambling with pork sausage or toad in the hole.

Yes, it decides:
Many miniature curds, in creamy and seasoned form.
When it finds itself scrambled
by the pure and unfamiliar heat of the new pan,
it will touch them-one, then another-
with a single mass enrobing the shredded cheese.

This Was Once a Love Poem
by Jane Hirshfield

This was once a love poem,
before its haunches thickened, its breath grew short,
before it found itself sitting,
perplexed and a little embarrassed,
on the fender of a parked car,
while many people passed by without turning their heads.

It remembers itself dressing as if for a great engagement.
It remembers choosing these shoes,
this scarf or tie.

Once, it drank beer for breakfast,
drifted its feet
in a river side by side with the feet of another.

Once it pretended shyness, then grew truly shy,
dropping its head so the hair would fall forward,
so the eyes would not be seen.

IT spoke with passion of history, of art.
It was lovely then, this poem.
Under its chin, no fold of skin softened.
Behind the knees, no pad of yellow fat.
What it knew in the morning it still believed at nightfall.
An unconjured confidence lifted its eyebrows, its cheeks.

The longing has not diminished.
Still it understands. It is time to consider a cat,
the cultivation of African violets or flowering cactus.

Yes, it decides:
Many miniature cacti, in blue and red painted pots.
When it finds itself disquieted
by the pure and unfamiliar silence of its new life,
it will touch them—one, then another—
with a single finger outstretched like a tiny flame.

Source: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19013

And, as promised, Michael made a much nicer omelette the next day: