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Salat Days
by Michael R. Burch

dedicated to the memory of my grandfather, Paul Ray Burch, Sr.

I remember how my grandfather used to pick poke salat ...
though first, usually, he’d stretch back in the front porch swing,
dangling his long thin legs, watching the sweat bees drone,
talking about poke salat—
how easy it was to find if you knew where to look for it ...
standing in dew-damp clumps by the side of a road, shockingly green,
straddling fence posts, overflowing small ditches,
crowding out the less-hardy nettles.

“Nobody knows that it’s there, lad, or that it’s fit tuh eat
with some bacon drippin’s or lard.”

“Don’t eat the berries. You see—the berry’s no good.
And you’d hav’ta wash the leaves a good long time.”

“I’d boil it twice, less’n I wus in a hurry.
Lawd, it’s tough to eat, chile, if you boil it jest wonst.”

He seldom was hurried; I can see him still ...
silently mowing his yard at eighty-eight,
stooped, but with a tall man’s angular gray grace.

Sometimes he’d pause to watch me running across the yard,
trampling his beans,
dislodging the shoots of his tomato plants.

He never grew flowers; I never laughed at his jokes about The Depression.

Years later I found the proper name—“pokeweed”—while perusing a dictionary.
Surprised, I asked why anyone would eat a ****.
I still can hear his laconic reply ...

“Well, chile, s’m’times them times wus hard.”

Published by Lonzie’s Fried Chicken, Grassroots Poetry, Poet’s Forum Magazine, Harp-Strings Poetry Journal, A Flasher’s Dozen (prose version), Poetry Life & Times, Centrifugal Eye, Better Than Starbucks. Keywords/Tags: Great Depression, South, pokeweed, poke salad, bacon, lard, front porch swing, sweat bees, nettles, weeds, beans
Noah May 2019
Its just plain delicious , its pretty healthy , I could eat it every other day. Too bad Im not wealthy up to 15$ for a meal thats not a price I wanna pay. But Its delicious. Im saving my money to get one on saterday.
Poke is like sushi in a bowl I like mine with tuna and salmon with eel sauce and some toppings like cucumbers wonton crackers  and Pineapple Juice.
Eric Babsy Oct 2018
The sun and the moon beyond all lies.
Because liars I despise.
I feel sick.
Because all that I see will click.

Youth is my friend.
All I know is it will be until the end.
This dictation, my last and only point.
I can do what I want, I can anoint.

You and I lead different spirits to join.
When I was young I worshiped what will find in the finite.
Finish what I started.
Forever more will get unabated.

I understand that I could be left behind.
The kind of fate that is unkind.
The kind of things heroes do.
Enjoy in that I do cue.

The last and final answer.
Respect from more to serve the cancer.
What is this anymore than a cruel joke!
Because it is the truth I poke.
Elle H Mar 2018
A survival skill learned;
do not poke the angry bear.
When you see the true colors of an ugly person
Danial John Mar 2018
So what if I love you?
Do you care?
I don’t.
If you don’t try, I won’t.

I’ve tried to the best of my abilities.
To me this is a mystery.
Why do you hurt so much?
I’m in constant misery.

It’s not your fault.
Please just tell me why.
Poking and prodding,
Until they die.
Ava Bean Oct 2015
I am numb to the kindness they give me
But sensitive to the needles they ***** me with:
The ones that were supposed to numb all of me up
At once.
Creep Nov 2014
you there?
-poke poke-
come on! answer me! I miss you!
-poke poke poke-
I'm sorry for whatever I've done, but babe, we can make things better!
-poke poke-
Babe? I still love you.
*-poke-* u dere? :3 yea you! 0_0

— The End —