Ode to Wilbur’s Companion

Oh, pork.  While I spend a great deal of time in the world of words, I also spend an enormous amount of my hours in the world of food.  My daughters often ask, What’s for dinner? and, annoyingly no doubt, I frequently reply, How about great big bowls of nothing for dinner?  Think how easy that would be.  No prepping, no cooking, no cleaning.  No dishes.

My daughters, not surprisingly, hate this answer.

Today, I gardened (to my joy and maybe also the black flies’ rapture, but it’s also consumption-oriented).  I served hummus and crusty olive bread, and I ate the moldy cheese no one else wanted.  Watermelon and apples I diced into pieces for the younger daughter.  From the garden I gathered a plain salad of lettuce for lunch and the older daughter ate it with pickled jalapeños.  All through this day, my younger daughter moans,  I’m so darn hungry……

While I was working at my desk this afternoon, the younger daughter appeared and asked if we were eating Wilbur for dinner.  Not thinking – really not following this line of thought through at all, and definitely not listening to my Charlotte’s Web aficionado child – I said, Yes, resulting in the child turning her back on me and stalking outside.  The older daughter complained I was being insensitive.  I should certainly know the younger daughter loves that pig.  I lifted my eyes from my laptop and said, Tell your sister I think the pig is Helga, and Wilbur’s fine.

The pork chops were succulent and yet crisp, Jung’s two extremes meeting up on our forks.  Afterward, we tossed the bones in a pot and boiled them down for tomorrow’s soup.  I bartered syrup for this meat from an East Hardwick family, and tonight at dinner, I was glad once again to have the providence to live where food is raised and tended and, yes, butchered, because my girls are hungry……


has been written in mud and butter
and barbecue sauce…..

Bless it. We have so little time
to learn, so much…. The river
courses dirty and deep. Cover the lettuce.
Call it a night. O soul. Flow on. Instead.

C.D. Wright


About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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