The Cook: part three (poem)

Posted by ractrose on 16 Jul 2018 in Art, Poems

Oil painting of Hubbard squash with castle in background



The Cook: part three


Has the night’s frost made bitter marrow

Rows of vine leaves melted on their stakes

The pith kiln dried to make a flour

For currant bread to celebrate mid-winter

The seeds fermented in a pot of vinegar

Kneeling men lower their billhooks and stare

To see a maiden dressed in white broderie

She follows

Two pages laying carpet between rows


At first it seems she’ll keep appointment

With the cook

He has ventured here himself only to escape the cold

The men obey their overseer and he

In passing treads upon the toes

Of the unwelcome watcher

The princess wears a mourning cloak

The men rock on their heels

To peer up slack-jawed in her wake

She mourns with sour jest the dowry sacked and pillaged

By the guest whose good companions

Snuffed the fire and took the gold


And again this daughter of his liege lord

Shows in deliberation her father’s mind

“Andrew.” She addresses the senior of her pages.

“Something blocks the way. We must turn aside.”

This freezing is the theme that rules the day

Thus the rimed field seemed warmer than the castle

Now the least misstep may prove his death

The cook thinks that tonight, beneath the scorpion’s red heart

He must take up his bundle and his staff

The king has uttered words presaged by the winged prophesier

“Never fear, they will get their desserts, my child.”



The Cook: part three (poem)
Virtual cover for poetry collection Mystery PlaysThe Cook (part one)
Like Hell














(2016, Stephanie Foster)



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