20 October 2015

Gravity and Jokes

Eat an Artichoke Step 7
How to Eat an Artichoke



How bodies of matter are attracted
to centers of celestial bodies
like air to hearts of earth and artichokes:

I put my dish atop the table in time
for tiny she to charge and hug my knees
and climb on lap to touch my nose with hers.

What did you bring me?  I brought artichokes,
so pulled one out for her (which stopped
her patting pockets for her absent presents).

She wiped her hands and grabbed its strange surface,
so I showed her each layer’s gift and how
to scrape soft bits from spiky leaves until

arriving at the choke, then carefully
removing it to reach the heart of gold—
Right here, I said, is the hidden treasure.

And wait until you try one with butter!
She closed her eyes to taste the last moment
and then, she laughed, breaking concentration.

Whooping, off she ran to greet others
and tell them of the arctic-joke her aunt
brought her.  We grinned, adults around the room.

Before we got our food and chokes we each,
I’m sure, recalled our first encounters with
arctic and other jokes—at least we tried.

We know our bodies’ gravity attracts
matter to feed our hungry hearts, but not
how we centered there once upon a time.




Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast





26 comments:

Mary said...

What a fun story, Susan, showing in such a sweet way the joy of being around children. I love the idea of an arctic-joke! Really I never would have known what an artichoke was when I was a child, and in my life I have only just had ONE. But so very true about the heart of gold - perhaps of both the artichoke AND the aunt.

kaykuala said...

Scrape.. scrape with strong lower teeth until one comes to the softer heart. It is an experience, both for the eaters but more so for the cook. Lively take with that tinge of humor Susan!

Hank

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Delightful – and, in the end, deep too. :)

Anonymous said...

Love the Arctic joke... And the way you have narrated the incident...

Jae Rose said...

What a beautiful act of nurturing and passing on knowledge - kind of like a healthy, functional J & Alice! - i love the effortless flow and rhyme... gravity certainly knocks on the door but if we can still laugh - it's magic!

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Love this - such a delightful read :D :D

Sherry Blue Sky said...

You took us into the heart of the arctic-joke, and the feelings of the scene. I can all all the grownups smiling over that sweet little girl's head. Very cool write.

Rob Jackson said...

I like the comparison between gravity and attraction between hearts.

Hannah said...

The way you brought the gravity in your closing is moving, Susan and the telling of this sweet story brings a smile to my face...thank you, so much for sharing this and inspiring with such a wonderful midweek motif!

tonispencer said...

What a delight - arctic chokes. The last stanza is such a sweet and wise close to this poem. Spencer is Kanzensakura

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

Such a wonderful moment Susan! Really a fabulous write!

Unknown said...

"Arctic-joke" smiled at that. She sounds so adorable. I miss that kind of innocence. Beautiful story

Old Egg said...

For all the fun there is sadness too a poignancy at the remembrance of childish ways long gone.

Truedessa said...

This was fun to read and the arctic- joke made me laugh. I also like the image of the hidden treasure being the heart of gold.

Myrna R. said...

Sweet, the innocence of children. Love your play on words. Tha last stanza was no joke though, it is wise and clever.

Anonymous said...

Two thumbs up

claireylove said...

Whar a sweet story ~ it'll be hard to shake 'artic-jokes' from my mind now!

Magaly Guerrero said...

I enjoy good wordplay, so this was extra fun. And your last line left all kinds of thoughts in my mind...

Gen Giggles said...

I can picture this.

annell4 said...

A lovely write, yes, children can remind us of our own small wonders.

Anonymous said...

you made me smile with delightful humor and a heart-melting story

rallentanda said...

Sweet poem !

De Jackson said...

So sweet. And ah, those artichokes. Wonderful.

Unknown said...

Artichokes - the most delightful (and fun) to eat. I cant tell you how many people don't know how to eat them and throw the heart away (more for the scavenger)

Nicholas said...

this was a very sweet moment to read about. i enjoyed every line: arctic joke, hehe...that one's funny.

Intelliblog said...

Beautiful, with an unexpected weighty end, Susan. I especially liked the "arctic-joke" (many people call asparagus "sparrow-grass").
Artichokes are in season for us here in Melbourne at the moment and last week we bought about three kilos of baby artichokes, which have no chokes. They were all cleaned, blanched and frozen, good to eat for the next few months. Excellent sautéed in butter and then made into an omelette and served with grated mild cheese :-)