Cheese haiku

with thanks to Tammi Belko, who encouraged teacher-poets to write on the topic of cheese today at Ethical ELA: “Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese” (G.K. Chesterton).

an extended haiku, of sorts

For Love of Grilled Cheese

Mama and Grannie
decide they want Chinese food
I don’t like the smell

they’re frowning at me
holding my nose in Kam Ling’s
ordering grilled cheese

—not on the menu
I’m confusing the waiter
Just take bread, I say,

two pieces, and put
a slice of cheese in between
and butter outside
fry it in a pan…
a loooong time later, it comes

(was someone dispatched
to a nearby grocery
in great vexation?)

Not long afterward
Mama has a surgery
Grannie comes to stay

Daddy is working
and doesn’t cook, anyway
I ask for grilled cheese

Grannie makes the thing
in the toaster… No, I say,
that’s not how Grandma Ruby

makes my grilled cheeses
Grannie’s face goes Mr. Hyde
like on Bugs Bunny

she shouts—the house shakes—
Heaven help me please

I may not get grown
if grown-ups demolish me
for love of grilled cheese

Grilled Cheese Sandwich @ Thunder Bay Regional Hospital. istargazer. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Note: I love Chinese food now.
And my Grannie. Mutual forgiveness and gratitude, for so many things.

2 thoughts on “Cheese haiku

  1. Fran, this is so cute! I love it, especially “Grannie’s face goes Mr. Hyde/
    like on Bugs Bunny/she shouts—the house shakes—/I’M. NOT. YOUR. GRANDMA. RUBY! / Heaven help me please”. I resonate with this poem. LOL! Both of my girls loved my grilled cheese. One day after playing at a neighbor’s house they said, “This isn’t like Katie’s mom’s grilled cheese.” I must have said something like, “Oh, how does Peggy make it?” The brave older one said, “With a lot more cheese and tons of butter.” I said something like, “Ok, well, next time I’ll add more cheese and butter.” I think one of them said, “The cheese has to ooze out.” 🙂

    I also love these lines, “they’re frowning at me/holding my nose in Kam Ling’s/
    ordering grilled cheese” and I love how you explain how to make grilled cheese! I’m glad you like Chinese food now. My girls branched out to other foods also, but they still love grilled cheese sandwiches at 22 and 24-years-old. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your words, Gail – glad you enjoyed. Once this cheese-memory resurfaced… well, I had to write. I was a horribly picky eater and highly sensitive to smells. I imagine a lot of folks will be able to relate here, either with their own childhood experiences or with their children and grandchildren. Poor Grannie – I likely pushed her last button! As another teacher-poet pointed out, she was doing her best in a hard situation and here her ego was “tender.” She was a survivor of many things, feisty yet loving. I miss her.


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