Mary Makofske

Eating Nasturtiums

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Eating Nasturtiums

You top our garden salad
with these bright nasturtiums

all parts edible—
leaf and flower, spur and pollen—
the parsley of nouvelle cuisine.

Till now you’ve only tolerated
beds of flowers, interlopers
where the beans or corn could be.

Here we move beyond the merely
decorative—blossoms gold and orange
streaked with scarlet lines
precise enough to have been drawn
with pen and ink.

Staked in a vase, arranged
by form and color, these blooms
would fade; why not make use
of them before they do?

Why not, like the hummingbird and bee,
let beauty lure us to what feeds
the hunger we call real?

As even the ordinary
objects of this kitchen
serve to feed us—
spoons , bowls, plates, pans,
glasses, chairs, and table
blooming in forms and colors
that satisfy—an argument
for art not sacrosanct,
but made to be well
used, devoured.

The gypsy flowers
spread their fringed skirts
on our tongues. Pepper and sweet,
these bright nasturtiums.