Poem-a-Day Collection (14)

DailyLit  
14
Poem-a-Day Collection
by Knopf
A Message from DailyLit
Question of the Week: What do you do that's short and sweet? Click here to (briefly) share.

COPYRIGHT
Poem-a-Day Collection by Knopf. Compilation copyright 2009 by Knopf.
All Rights Reserved. Sharing not permitted.


Ode to Pepper Vinegar

By Kevin Young

You sat in the tomb

of our family fridge
for years, without

fail. You were all

I wanted covering
my greens, satisfaction

I've since sought

for years in restaurants
which claimed soul, but neither

knew you nor

your vinegar prayer.
Baby brother

of bitterness, soothsayer,

you taught
me the difference between loss

& holding on. Next to the neon

of the maraschino cherries,
you floated & stayed

constant as a flame

on an unknown soldier's grave—
I never did know

how you got here

you just were. Adrift
in your mason jar

you were a briny bit of where

we came from, rusty lid
awaiting our touch

& tongue—you were faith

in the everyday, not rare
as the sugarcane

my grandparents sent north

come Christmas, drained
sweet & dry, delicious, gone

by New Year's—

no, you were nearer,
familiar, the thump

thump of an upright bass

or the brass
of a funeral band

bringing us home.

--

Buy Kevin Young Dear Darkness from Amazon here.

Buy Kevin Young Dear Darkness from IndieBound here.

Visit poem-a-day.knopfdoubleday.com for more about this poem and to sign up for Knopf's 2010 Poem-a-Day email.

Excerpt from DEAR DARKNESS. Copyright © 2008 by Kevin Young. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.




A Message from DailyLit
Question of the Week: What do you do that's short and sweet? Click here to (briefly) share.
Message from DailyLit
Question of the Week: What do you do that's short and sweet? Click here to (briefly) share.
  • Want more? Get the next installment right now.
  • Ideas or questions? Discuss in our forums
  • Need a break? Suspend delivery of this book.
  • Want to adjust your reading schedule or make other changes? Manage all your settings.
  •