She picked up the zucchini and belted out a ditty
About living on a farm and singing a country tune.
The girl with the microphone knew about foot long zucchinis
and birds that say, “Bawk! Bawk!” as life’s refrain.
“Bawk-Bawk! Bawk-Bawk! Bawk-Bawk!”
She follows the clucking birds into the woods
That invite her and her playmates: a sister,
a sometimes friend
To stir a stew of leaves and mud and grass
In a bowl borrowed from the half emptied dishwasher.
Enveloped, under the shade of poplars, oaks, and their saplings
They become grown-ups: Mommas and
Iron Man Chefs and
Taylor Swift sound a-likes.
Disguised, behind their curtain of summer brush
They engage their—imaginary—life
With the zest long-forgotten by their mothers
Who think zucchini is just for bread
Who bitterly image their lives as zucchini shreds,
unrecognizable, in raw batter glop.
Who feel baked to death: dry, hard, burned-out!
But one mother sees a toddler running around
With an off-brand rice crispy cereal box on his head.
He’s singing a happy song, “Hat! Hat! Hat!”
She stops peeling the carrot in her hand,
Raises the slender obelisk to her lips, and
Belts a country tune from her farmhouse window into the suburban streets.
She sings of children who transform simple zucchini
Into the sweet bread of life.
She sings of gourmet mud pies, joyfully prepared for dinner.
She sings and she becomes the little girl
Feeding her dollies berry-laden grasscakes.
……….Unseen behind the walls of her hearth room,
Her shredded self becomes the bread
With a trailing “Bawk! Bawk!” she slices the carrots into pennies
Tossing them into her dinner stew with a wish for good luck!
She eyes the zucchini, hears a child’s tune in her heart, and
Doesn’t dare chop The Star’s microphone….
July 11, 2012