ODE TO A CONDIMENT

Standard

From the trusty crock you teach
how cold a winter’s morning
or how warm a summer’s day might be.
Oh not in thermometric numbers by degree
but by your suave substantial answer
to the knife tip’s touch,
by your complexion and your spreadability.

At your most noble, taken new
from finest milk and churned
to a consistency all of your own,
epitome of softness and a cache
of flavor—you’re unsalted, sweet,
delicately of the pasture:  dandelion,
clover or alfalfa, onion grass…

I love yourself
by any means conveyed—
a raft of toast, a lobster tail,
an artichoke sauteed—even my cat
demands a tiny pat of you each day.
But best of all, piece de resistance,
those days when I bake bread

I break a hunk
warm, before the loaf is sliced,
and slather you all over it.
Then you are paradise.

12 responses »

  1. You put me in mind, Cynthia, of “The King’s Breakfast” by AA Mine:

    The King asked
    The Queen, and
    The Queen asked
    The Dairymaid:
    “Could we have some butter for
    The Royal slice of bread?”
    The Queen asked
    The Dairymaid,
    The Dairymaid
    Said “Certainly,
    I’ll go and tell
    The cow
    Now
    Before she goes to bed …”

    I only mention this to show how widely read I am and to impress you with my discernment. Your own poem is altogether superior: a cordon bleu sophisticated delectation.

  2. After just eaten a scrumptious piece of toast with Kate’s home churned butter, sea salted and just the very best, according to Toby Keith, the brother cat who must have a pat of it whenever it is on the table. His sister prefers the plants. Of course, the smell of home made bread and warm butter delights me and evokes memories of my aunt coming to our house every Saturday evening with her
    hot home made rolls to watch Perry Mason with us. The rolls were just delicious and could never ever be duplicated, even though my mother tried unsuccessfully for years. I loved John’s response -“The KIng ‘s Breakfast.”- Let’s sing praises to the awesome cow! Eileen

    • I find it hard to believe in nonbutterlovers…..I hadn,’t thought about the buttercup folklore in a long time, but yes, in the foothills of the White Mountains of New Hampshire we children did that too!

      • I will have to introduce the notion to my tiny grandchildren, see if we can prolong, or maybe even revive the tradition! I imagine it probably died a death in favour of a screen full of silly games. Now I do sound old! 🙂

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