Turner, Duncan

United States, (b. 1953)

Ode to Bacon Grease, the Key Ingredient of Southern Cuisine

  1. Does your soul find sweet release
  2. in meals home-cooked with bacon grease?
  3. And living now in Northern clime
  4. do you yet long for food sublime
  5. prepared with rendered flesh of swine?
  6. Or having sloughed the South’s compulsion
  7. for salty, smoky pork emulsion
  8. do you melt Crisco instead
  9. to lubricate your hoe-cake bread
  10. and wonder where the tang has fled?
  11.  
  12. When in your closing, twilight scene,
  13. your arteries cholesterol clean
  14. but life’s lamp fading ne’ertheless
  15. will you yet shun the blessed porcine mess
  16. in vain pursuit of wholesomeness?
  17.  
  18. Take heart, for soon we slip our mortal coil,
  19. through tunnel toward the light to toil
  20. and gladly leave behind canola oil,
  21. to sup again with our wise Creator
  22. who doubtless saves bacon grease in his refrigerator.

© Duncan Turner, used with permission.
Originally published in: Post to the Host, December, 1996, at the Prairie Home Companion web site at: http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/.

About the Poet

Duncan Turner (b. 1953), poet and lawyer with the Badgley-Mullins law firm in Seattle, Washington where he specializes in commercial litigation, products liability, personal injury, medical malpractice, and employment law.

Duncan (originally from Mississippi) claims that he is also “famous for the best pork barbecue in Seattle, using the time-tested secret family recipe.” [DES-6/03]

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