These are FARMED, Grandpa,
something you could never have imagined
as you sat patiently chewing on the stump
of a cold cigar, straw fishing hat squished down
over your bald head, “There’s Old Man Diamond,”
Daddy would tease, as you sat waiting for
the solitary-as-you-were walleye pike as he
swirled at the bottom of Big Floyd Lake.

They cooked it in PECANS AND MAPLE SYRUP,
Grandma, a taste you could never imagine, as you stood
aproned, the red gingham curtains behind you and that
old toilet that ran all the time as background music
and you shook the fresh caught fish in your brown paper bag
of Bisquick and laid them lovingly in the sputtering pan
over sliced onions. Crispy, the slight dark parts of their
flesh a hint of the deep shadows of the lake’s underworld
from which they were drawn…

Farmed? Pecans and maple syrup? Did I fly two thousand
miles for this? No rhubarb crisp on the menu, no canasta
duels deep into the night betwixt the two of you, the lamp
over the oilcloth-clad kitchen table swinging slightly, circling
your nightly playing field. All of this I had for ten summers
in our perverse and war-torn world and was never asked
to pay the bill.

Doreen Stock

Doreen Stock is a poet and memoir artist living and writing in Fairfax, CA. Her works include: Bye Bye Blackbird, poems of her mother's last years (The Poetry Box April, 2021); Tango Man, a collection of love poems (Finishing Line Press, 2020); In Place Of Me, poems selected by and with an Introduction by Jack Hirschman ( Mine Gallery Editions, 2015);  My Name is Y, an anti-nuclear memoir (Norfolk Press,2019).  A selection from her poetry and translation work has been video-archived at Marin Poets, Live! She is a founding member of the Marin Poetry Center.

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