Fricassee of Heart


For We Write Poems prompt #22 What’s For Dinner
(SL, thanks for the deeply needed inspiration. I agree that every author has certain taboo words, one of mine is tears, and you won’t find it in this one.)

The prompt today was to make use of some form of  the language of cooking to create a  poem. I fried fish for my Muse yesterday, so today you get an older piece that never saw a lot of sunlight. This is pure imagination and not at all autobiographical.

Fricasee of Heart

She cooked it herself.
Sliced away fragile
that had always held it in place,
kept it safe,
secure in its cavity chamber.
Had to break a few stubborn bones
but managed, without too much damage,
to set it free, get it to stand alone.

Sautéed it with a bit of butter,
turning it frequently so it browned
evenly, then let it simmer in its own juices
with a few drops of vintage wine,
while she created succulent side dishes
out of nothing but hope-filled wishes
and fine-lined dreams.

Sprinkled in a bit of this,
a dash of that,
tossed it all with a vinaigrette
of fancy verbiage, a touch or two
of regret for fuller flavor.

Then sat alone
at the table she’d set,
waiting for a single guest
who would never know
he’d been

Elizabeth Crawford  9/30/09

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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12 Responses to Fricassee of Heart

  1. S.L. Corsua says:

    Oh, dear, that ending can really choke the life out of me. I’ve been so wrapped up in the ‘cooking process’ that the twist at the end stole my breath.

    I’m thrilled to have sparked inspiration. It’s a whole other level of compliment from one writer to another. 🙂 Thank you.


  2. 1sojournal says:

    You seem, to me, to often be that slanted glimpse of red disappearing around the corner just as I turn my head. This one was unexpected and I had some questions, but decided to do it anyway. And the ending was a surprise to me as well. I really like it when that happens.

    Thanks for stopping by,



  3. Diane T says:

    A poignant poem indeed. So sad that your uninvited guest could not come.

    Diane, as I said in the intro, this poem is not autobiographical. It is however, a statement about aspects within our human society. There are hints in the poem itself as to why the guest went uninvited. And, personally, I don’t think this is a rare or uncommon reality, thanks for reading and commenting,



  4. pamela says:

    Elizabeth the ending of this is heartbreaking!
    Wonderful piece of writing!

    Pamela, I’m not sure it is hearbreaking, so much as real. We all have our defenses and aloneness could easily become just that. Thanks for stopping and reading,



  5. Tilly Bud says:

    The sadness of that last stanza punched me in the gut. Excellent work.

    Tilly Bud, thanks for the comments, but I have to confess that isn’t what I was aiming at. A surprise, a twist, but not a punch in the gut. There are an awful lot of people out there who forego relationship for lots of reasons, some even make sense, I guess. But that is always the choice of the individual,



  6. Mary says:

    “Fricasse of Heart” breaks my heart. A guest who didn’t know he was invited. You did a nice job of writing this poem, and the scene comes to life.

    Hi Mary and thanks for reading and commenting. Sorry if it “broke your heart”. I know a lot of people who honor their heart’s leanings, but still maintain a separate path for all kinds of reasons. There is something to be said for dedication and commitment of the spirit and the heart.



  7. Judy Roney says:

    What started as a mystery in your poem ended so sadly. Good work!

    Judy, there’s a reason she would so carefully prepare and consume her own heart, and many individuals do just that, it doesn’t have to be sad. Thanks for reading and commenting,



  8. irene says:

    she created succulent side dishes
    out of nothing but hope-filled wishes
    and fine-lined dreams.

    I like it when the poem turns and the denouement is funny poignant. Kind of describes loneliness as a human condition, Elizabeth, but that’s my reading.

    Thank you Irene. And your reading is right on. Not exactly loneliness, although that can definiteliy be an issue even when one is in a committed relationship, but rather the reality of ones aloneness, we can belong but still be detached on some levels. And there are always those moments, if we admit to them, when we know that we are alone and it is perfectly okay to be so,



  9. I really love this one. There seem to be so many layers and ways of interpreting this which I find very intriguing.

    Thank you much Flying Monkey, and I’m glad you see it that way. It started off rather tongue in cheek, but as often happens, it didn’t stay that way. And yes, there were definitely layers to explore which I was unaware of when writing it,



  10. This is actually food for living. A recipe, in a way. Multi-layered and very beautiful..

    a subtle hint


  11. 1sojournal says:

    Gautami, thanks for that. It didn’t start out as that, but yes, I agree that it is a recipe of sorts, layered between the lines about cooking. But, even the simple tasks of preparing a meal can be easily related to living a life, moving on a path, one step at a time. We all do that, each in our own way.



  12. ms pie says:

    i like this dish of chicken stirred and served in a most eloquent way.. how often our dreams are added to our cooking and the accomplishments of desire… i like that she did in fact serve him but as a side note forget to invite him… i see it as empowerment in that dinner was served perfectly… girl power!!!

    Ms Pie, Girl Power for a Grandma, I love it, lol. And thank you for catching that small note in the poem. We truly do put out more effort for others than we do for our own person. When in all reality, we can’t love others fully, until we first learn to love ourselves. It all takes time, but we do learn eventually,



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