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"Tonight on FAMILY FOOD...!"

Once born to a family — a real family,
one richly larded with guilt, disapproval
and the strained, yearning worship of a you
someone once thought you might be or become —

once born to such a family, food will always be
family, not your mother's head on a platter with
your father's head in her mouth, nothing quite
so crude — your mother wouldn't want to be remembered
with food in an open mouth, and besides, how would she know
where your father's head had been? But there's something

familial about food...not food, but a meal, it's the way
roast beef and browned potatoes weigh you down,
the way they sink into your hips and belly, conspire
with your parents to make you them. It's the way,
when you rid yourself of food or family, the act is somehow
as shameful as it is necessary and even healthy.

It's the way you love in your family
the things you know aren't good for you,
the fatty adoration, the sweet and sour exchanged insults,
the oily, high-carb hot-dishes full of a mishmash
of superfluous shrieks, jabber, cross-intentions,
each ingredient demanding attention and envious
of every other ingredient. And the meat is always
overdone as are the inevitable soggy peas, and always
someone has to take a pee and another,
tiny, whiny and soggy, has already peed.
And you want more than you should want,
always wanting - another helping
of fried potatoes (how is it a
helping?), more apple pie, yes,
I had a piece, but not as big a piece as she had, always

the meal is supposed to make you happy, leave you
satisfied, yet always there is something you want,
though you are already fat, you keep wanting more
of what will never be enough, cannot be what you want,
as if you could eat or please yourself free of the ever-increasing
gravity from which no diet, no estrangement
releases you.

Dean Blehert

Copyright c. 2008 by Dean Blehert. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED   
last updated: June 6, 2008