Steak and Sarah

There is a lady eating steak across from me,
and I find that I am a little bit jealous of her palette.

I have not eaten meat myself in three years,
can no longer remember the taste of chicken,
or fish, though I remember lazy school nights
when nobody in our family wanted to cook.
I used to have to walk down the road to the pub
where my ex-girlfriend worked the evening shift
and ask her over the counter for a large cod and chips.

She used to have to remind me, using the tone
that sometimes scolded me with over the phone,
(another story for another poem)
to make sure that I ordered mushy peas for my Dad.
She’d only met him once when we were together,
but knew him better now that he was a regular.

I always asked her for battered sausages,
back when I once had a penchant for pork
and sometimes speared sort flesh with hard fork,
during meals that now seems a whole lifetime ago.
I’m eating my greens now, almost exclusively,
and wonder how she’d react if she knew that of me.

Perhaps there’s a slim chance she’s vegan too,
and now the scent of fish makes Sarah want to wretch,
like the sight of steak sometimes does for myself.
Maybe I should find out, quit my writing and look her up –
if only to see if she’s graduated from bartender to cook.

Chichester, April 2017


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