Frozen Food

First published in The Walt Whitman 200th Birthday Poets to Come Anthology, Local Gems Press, 2019


Nothing to eat, only
frozen dinners with additives,
frozen meats too far from edible,
frozen vegetables, pretty but simply not enough

Let the freezer door close –
check to make sure it closed properly (it did)
and wander about the house a bit

A good meal can nourish you
or kill time
but there’s nothing viable here

 So, I am defrosting poetry that has been built up
and stored in me for weeks

it is not a gentle project –
it requires the zap of a microwave,
or some hours to thaw to ready.

The art is in the thaw
how you coax it off the freezer shelf into words, phrases
and punctuation that make sense somehow;
how you find the shape in it
how you shape it as it thaws,

it’s always a challenge:
defrosting poetry for survival


© Joanne Alfano

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