Thursday, 27 April 2017

poetry 2017 / 085

Many poems explore the sight or sound or feel of things, and Proust famously wrote about the memories evoked by smell, but today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that explores your sense of taste! This could be a poem about food, or wine, or even the oddly metallic sensation of a snowflake on your tongue.


Blood fills my mouth
sudden, unexpected,
the sharp tang of iron
sweet; sugar in a cup of mead
when I was five years old;
the tang of parsnip wine
when we got back from Midnight Mass
with my mother in her best fur coat
and the promise of Christmas on the morrow.

The grating of one tooth out of alignment
sandpaper on rough enamel.
I can feel the chip with my tongue.
Too late for a guard
(She should have kept her mouth shut)
Penny cracking me across the face
and a quick trip to the A&E for stitches.
You can still see the scar.

The razor blade that caressed my skin
when I was at my weakest
felt like blood tastes.
Thin, metallic, something only noticed
when out of context.
How often do you think about blood
in the course of a normal day?

Don't take my word for it,
I'm anything but.

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