Monday, November 7, 2011


At 200 miles an hour, we rush
through wine country. A cluster of scenes
becomes a green cooler of trees
and hills, other landmarks stirred in the blend.

Someone pokes my arm, the pale
woman next to me (who has been sleeping).
She asks if I can hold her purse
while she wraps a shawl around her shoulders.
Her hair seems strangely wet, her thin shape
shivering, mostly cold but also in pain.

She explains the hillside mist
dampened her scalp, and while flying
too close to the bell tower roof,
its metal grazed her rib. Yet, she swears
that watching her shadow glide
over lakes where other fowl nested
and along rows of vine leaves
unraveling in the sun, was glorious.

I smile and resume reading my book.
She notices the picture of Chef
Alain Ducasse on the cover,
and asks -- What is he known for?.

Without much thought, I say my favortie dish,
foie gras served with wild mushrooms
and white asparagus
. She coughs
holding her supple throat,
and looks toward the window, a low whisper --

those birds must be spared,
I shared the sky with them this morning
Note -- Foie gras or goose liver is a controversial dish and condemned by animal activists who abhor the cruetly of how they are bred and raised for market. Usually, they are housed in crowded conditions and overfed to expand their livers to swollen
proportions. This is accomplished by force-feeding grain down their throats through metal tubes, all for the sake of profit and exotic cuisine.

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