Salida de Emergencia
I can imagine emergencies in which
there may not be time for a salad: a storm looms up,
flapping the tables' blue canvas umbrellas
or threatening women's hats, and what can one do
but yield to the forces of nature and go inside
to the bar, perhaps for a corretto? But this?
An emergency salad?
Suppose a telephone call
with bad news . . . Might not a salad help?
Tossed greens with a simple vinaigrette
and possibly some of those yellow cherry tomatoes?
It's not such a bad idea, the frivolousness
a compliment to one's equipoise, or a help
in summoning up the self-control that began
as good manners but now, in moments of crisis,
can show itself to be the soul's habit.
Every day, the world comes to an end
and what shall we do unless we have prepared
escarole, radicchio, red leaf lettuce,
and chives with which to nourish our faint spirits?
--- From Civil Wars
David R. Slavitt
©2013 Louisiana University Press