I grew up in Kentucky with a mother
Who was a picky eater. Spices rare --
Just seasoned salt -- we dared not have another --
The cupboard for the spices was most bare.
A little Southern (for my dad), a bit
More Northern (mom, who cooked), we ate Ragu
Spaghetti, chili bland of chilies, flit
From biscuits sopped in sausage gravy, stew
With carrots and potatoes to fried eggs
And toast, corn and mashed potatoes with cream
Gravy, fried chicken (breasts, but not the legs)
All filled the kitchen table, curling steam.
I learned to cook with spices when I went
To college. There I tried cuisines that I
Had never had the change to even scent --
To Chinese, Mexican I had to try.
And now, a marriage later, on most days
I'm making tacos, enchiladas, corn
Tortillas wrapping chicken, spicy trays
Of food, hot peppers used like I was born
In Mexico -- or Texas at the least.
My mom would find it odd I feed my brood
Such meals -- but honestly we do not feast
On Mexican: we only call it "food."