6/22/06

A poem by P.B. Robosa

Grandpa and the Gabi


Grandpa cooks and eats every
part of the gabi,
savors each kind in any cooking,
consuming the roots, the stems
up to the best part,
the large waterproof leaves.
I even saw him enjoying
the fragrance of the gabi flowers.
He patiently rolls the young leaves
into cylinders and ties them
with the stem and before the rice cooks,
steams them over its surface,
later adding shrimp paste and masticating
each singularity of the plant
with his fingers
down to its very core.
I, his grandson laughs
at his innocent, frugal folly.
Stems and discarded leaves cover my plate--
I doubt the parts are edible.
I, his grandson was not yet old enough
to eat like a goat.
I will grow up in a world
tired of nibbling at the leaves
and fears the bite of the acid beneath
and throws the plant away.
Maybe I will be one to retrieve
the rejected plant from the garden,
patiently tear the leaves to small pieces,
and discover its distinct forgotten taste.

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