Poems by Tamara Madison

“Caveat Lepus”
            By Tamara Madison

Rabbit pretends
not to look
but sees me,
stands so still
in the grass
with round eye
the columns
of its ears.
No need to flee;
I pose no
present danger.
I look behind
to where it stands
still as granite,
I am no predator,
true. But rabbit,
oh rabbit,
you have no idea.

“Baby Vegetables”
            By Tamara Madison

I pry open the plastic clamshell
of baby arugula, tear into the bag
of baby lettuce, pick the baby carrots
from the market bin and tuck them
into my recyclable supermarket tote
with other baby vegetables.
They will be delicious but still
I will feel like a pedophile
enjoying these sweet young flowers
of God’s creation before they have grown
to full size, before they have basked
their intended amount in the sunlight
or slept in their earthen wombs,
before they have drunk their allotted share
of earthly water. Someone else
has cut short these tender lives and we,
my friend, are devouring them
like perverts in a damp garage.
And they taste so good.

“Eating the Artichoke”
            By Tamara Madison

When you eat your first artichoke
you are daring and cultured;
a member of an elite
with taste refined enough to savor
the delicate flesh in the recess
of thorny tip and barbed leaf,
patient enough to wade
through the thicket of leaves
picking your way to the prickly choke.
You are not like your forebears
crashing through dry grasses
to come upon the bristling bush
with its towers of thorns,
tearing at the painful flowers
in search of sustenance, anything
to help them remain in this life
and be able to pass down
those stalwart genes that would enable
their progeny thousands of years thence
to pick out a shrink-wrapped
pack of thistles from a grocery shelf
and know already, among other
cultivated secrets, the right way
to cook and eat them.

- Tamara Madison is the author of the chapbook “The Belly Remembers”, and two full-length volumes of poetry, “Wild Domestic” and “Moraine”, all published by Pearl Editions. Her work has appeared in Chiron Review, Your Daily Poem, A Year of Being Here, Nerve Cowboy, the Writer’s Almanac, Sheila-Na-Gig and many other publications. She has recently retired from teaching English and French in Los Angeles and is happy to finally get some sleep. More about Tamara can be found at www.tamaramadisonpoetry.com

Copyright©2020 by Tamara Madison. All Rights Reserved.