Ode To an Artichoke

20 May
Okay y’all.  Now know I’m on a poetry kick lately but this one comes with a STORY!
I brought in my beloved Neruda to work the other day, in my endless efforts to inspire the beautiful girls.  I read to them:  Your Feet.
Now, I LOVE that poem.  I love the (re)imagining and appreciation of our bodies.  Our sweet, functional bodies.
And, I love his rapture…
I offered:  How can we do this for ourselves?  To love the parts that let us feel.  Fly.  Love.
I wasn’t sure that I got through.
Then, one of our clients brought me this Neruda…
Ode to an Artichoke

The artichoke
With a tender heart
Dressed up like a warrior,
Standing at attention, it built
A small helmet
Under its scales
It remained
Unshakeable,
By its side
The crazy vegetables
Uncurled
Their tendrills and leaf-crowns,
Throbbing bulbs,
In the sub-soil
The carrot
With its red mustaches
Was sleeping,
The grapevine
Hung out to dry its branches
Through which the wine will rise,
The cabbage
Dedicated itself
To trying on skirts,
The oregano
To perfuming the world,
And the sweet
Artichoke
There in the garden,
Dressed like a warrior,
Burnished
Like a proud
Pomegrante.
And one day
Side by side
In big wicker baskets
Walking through the market
To realize their dream
The artichoke army
In formation.
Never was it so military
Like on parade.
The men
In their white shirts
Among the vegetables
Were
The Marshals
Of the artichokes
Lines in close order
Command voices,
And the bang
Of a falling box.

But
Then
Maria
Comes
With her basket
She chooses
An artichoke,
She’s not afraid of it.
She examines it, she observes it
Up against the light like it was an egg,
She buys it,
She mixes it up
In her handbag
With a pair of shoes
With a cabbage head and a
Bottle
Of vinegar
Until
She enters the kitchen
And submerges it in a pot.

Thus ends
In peace
This career
Of the armed vegetable
Which is called an artichoke,
Then
Scale by scale,
We strip off
The delicacy
And eat
The peaceful mush
Of its green heart.

And, she wrote:  “May we always stand erect and peaceful like the Artichoke.”
Some days are (poetry) magic…
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