MD Kerr

Day 14: Penelope's

Free verse

Handwritten poem

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I understood they came three ways:
whole or pitted, in brine, or wrinkled tight with salt,
and usually served as a starter
but as it turns out, you can land a whole plane,
an entire plane in Kalamata –
though come to think of it, it is still a starter.
In Caramalese, or Cardomomil, or Car-dilly-me,
our hostess philoxenieriously
says we can borrow the lemons and take out the lights
so in carefullest Greek I say “Yank thoo”
and after some work with Google,
ask permission to catch fire in the house.
But of course! We’re her clients! Our house is her house!
At the Restaurant Estiatorio (a chain, we later suspect)
we learn to say “What do you call this?” –
which according to context, or dialect, could be
“eena potteeree?” “trapiziomantiyo?” or “molis suweepa?”
so we’re careful to use all three
at the next branch of Estiatorio
though by now my Greek is improving and my thank you
comes out more like “nath yook”
in response to I guess the traditional gifts
of glasses and tablecloths.
I’m getting the hang of this.

Thanks to for the prompt to write a poem mangling language and to Writers' Digest for the prompt to write about a region.


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