Wednesday Poetry Break: Food edition!

In searching for a poem appropriate for the day before Thanksgiving, I think an homage to butter will do. If you’re like me, you are spending today cooking and cleaning and getting ready for the biggest meal of the year. I hope you also have something that I have every Thanksgiving: namely, someone like my Dad who every year astounds me with a pre-meal blessing that is short and profound, and always brings us back to the true meaning of the word “thanksgiving” before we are about to plunge into gluttony.

Butter

My mother loves butter more than I do,
more than anyone. She pulls chunks off
the stick and eats it plain, explaining
cream spun around into butter! Growing up
we ate turkey cutlets sauteed in lemon
and butter, butter and cheese on green noodles,
butter melting in small pools in the hearts
of Yorkshire puddings, butter better
than gravy staining white rice yellow,
butter glazing corn in slipping squares,
butter the lava in white volcanoes
of hominy grits, butter softening
in a white bowl to be creamed with white
sugar, butter disappearing into
whipped sweet potatoes, with pineapple,
butter melted and curdy to pour
over pancakes, butter licked off the plate
with warm Alaga syrup. When I picture
the good old days I am grinning greasy
with my brother, having watched the tiger
chase his tail and turn to butter. We are
Mumbo and Jumbo’s children despite
historical revision, despite
our parent’s efforts, glowing from the inside
out, one hundred megawatts of butter.
— Elizabeth Alexander
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