Why Is This Pumpkin Not a Chicken?

taken with onion and a small red pepper
diced so fine they melt willingly into
oil already fragrant with the shavings
from a piece of ginger, the yellow flesh

of this large pumpkin, taken just this
morning from the vine, boiled tender
with its leaves and blossoms, chopped
and scattered to sizzle in the seasoned

oil will suffice to whet the appetite
beside soft fluffy rice packed into an
enamel bowl to shape it, gently turned
upside down onto a waiting plate

to steam enticingly: this is the alchemy,
the kitchen magic that must enchant his
senses, fill his stomach, satiate and pave
the pathway so my answer to the awkward

question that awaits about the change
of menu plan may also satisfy, so my words
of confession are heard with the drowsy
generosity that comes from a full belly,

his tongue gentle, softened by savoring
the flavors of the curry – so when he asks
the question of why this evening’s dinner
is not what he expected, why it looks quite

so vegetarian, why is this pumpkin not
a chicken, and I must admit that I’ve been
led into temptation, have spent monies
given me to purchase meat – on books –

succumbed to that more transcendental
form of nourishment, given in to words


Prompted by Luisa A. Igloria’s “In the hotel with thin walls and the name of a poet” and the need to provide some explanation for dinner.

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