[lit-ideas] Re: My Sunday

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2004 18:38:47 -0700

Today I really wanted mussels.
The garden parsley is high, exuberant, bolting towards flower,
so moules, I thought, could be the dish of the hour,
of the day
the year...
with fries.

At Costco I bought a blue plastic string bag full.
That's how they sell mussels now,
which is probably convenient for someone.
Just not for me.
The problem, you see,
is that this way there's no way
to tell whether the fish are alive or dead,
and with mussels
this matters. 

When, at home, I cut into the holy bag
the stink rushed out.
The stiffs were high as beached weed.

Unsatiated, I tried another store,
which sometimes has good fish.
Like a fool from Monty Python,
I asked the monger, "Good fishperson sir,
trot out your choicest molluscs."

"You'll like these.
Came in yesterday."

You've guessed the rest.
I got them home, cut the bags.
There should have been toe tags,
dates of demise,
indicating exactly 
when these hard black beasts last swam with the fishes.

Actually, there was:
"Harvested May twenty eighth, Vancouver, Canada."

After a week of rain,
the sun's now out.
My fingers reek,
but I am calm.
I forgive Canada, and wherever else it was that dished me unselfish
quantities of veteran fish,
but I am thinking that some time tomorrow,
maybe I'll mail some back.

David Ritchie
Portland, Oregon

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  • » [lit-ideas] Re: My Sunday