05 November 2009

Bullseye Series, Chapter Three

Thanks to Paul Swenson, guest blogger over at Mormon Matters (see my sidebar below) for this gem.

The Whole Enchilada

So what?
So, what if
I’m one of those
cafeteria Mormons?
No offense.
More like it
makes some sense,
since my Mormor
(Swedish for
maternal grandmother)
ran a cafeteria,
and had to forgo
coffee (drinking it,
serving it)
just to join
the Mormon church.

Just because
she gave up caffeine
didn’t miss her chance
(between husbands)
to answer life’s
tough questions.
To pick and choose
to make a living.

“Smart,” my mother
said of Mormor –
“smart businesswoman.”
That was before
the patriarchy
gave their wives
the business
about a woman’s role.
Coffee rolls (kaffebullar)
were what my Mormor
baked and sold.

Sorry, whole different
time now, but an old
story. Comes
to spiritual food,
cannot order
off the menu.
“No substitutes,”
my waiter scoffs.
I complain –
Maitre d’ informs
me it is the chef’s
night off. Wrong
venue — “this is
no cafeteria.”

Not as if
I object to eating
But if every bite
is planned for me,
might lose
the nerve
for that unique
hors d’oeuvre –
free agency. Takes
the edge off

Say I appreciate
the main course, yet
cannot swallow
everything –
therefore leave some
garnish on my plate.
Would the omission
seal my fate — damnation
for my soul? No
satisfaction? Nada?
Forgive me if I take
the risk. Refuse to eat
the enchilada, whole.

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