Posted by: Irene Fridsma | April 13, 2011

The Imported Cook (revised to better fit the Sestina form)

she reached across the wide shelf
to retrieve pans to cook
the stew which was today’s challenge
since she was losing her train
of thought down a daydream stream
when she should have been browning beef

but her patient husband wasn’t one to beef
even though her cooking skills were not top shelf
she had emigrated from the town across the stream
and was still learning to cook
at day’s end she felt like she’d been dragged behind the train
recipes were always a challenge

his forbearance helped her weather the challenge
of interpreting the unusual ingredient list with “ribs of beef”
which she had them shipped to her by train
the rest she found on the local grocer’s shelf
it took her hours to prepare and cook
these special-ordered ribs from down stream

quality meat ordered from the city down stream
helped her conquer the recipe challenge
as she waited for the beef to cook
she wondered if her children would like casserole o’ beef
then began to clean the kitchen returning pots to the shelf
enjoying the aromas and listening for the train

she had arrived here on the train
the captain knew this stop on the stream
her prized Julia Child’s cooking bible remained on the shelf
knowing that French cuisine would be an ongoing challenge
she studied a recipe involving brisket of beef
soon she was confident in her role as cook

with ingredients to cook
and new food adventures waiting, the train
stopped often with its cargo of beef
she had entered the western mainstream
by embracing the unfamiliar cultural food challenge
she soon filled her pantry, loading each shelf

the persistent cook, improved her pantry shelf
with exotic spices and beef, while mastering the challenge
of ordering specialty meats by train from down stream


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