Okay, here it is.
I think I mentioned it once on my snapchat (tennishealthfit ;)), but I’ve decided the blog world needs to see this. In my Honors American Literature Class, our project before we went on winter break was to compose two poems- one in the style of Emily Dickinson, and one in the style of Walt Whitman. Whitman writes in a rant type style, and uses lots of lists and patterns. When I started my Whitman poems, I wrote one about kale AS A COMPLETE JOKE. I was not intending on going all the way through with it- it was simply a way for me to get my mind going. Well, flash forward two weeks, and I wrote my poem on… kale. Yup. Keep in mind- this is not a kale criticism. I adore kale, and eat it almost everyday. I thought y’all would enjoy a funnier, more light hearten post. Here goes nothing!
The Leaf from Above
I grasp the leaf and hold it firmly,
Oh the olive, forest, jungle green,
Oh how it calls my name like a lost child in Costco on a Sunday.
Oh what a beautiful thing you are, dear kale,
You can be timid like a star and wild like a full moon,
You can enhance a salad like a wizard, with grace, ease, and simplicity.
Your texture screams do not touch me,
Why- the roughness of you is undeniable, like a rock in the desert,
Yet you should not let the brash texture define you,
I’m sure you have feelings just like a human would,
Do not let your insecurities steer you away from being the beautiful leaf you are.
You come from a seed,
A seed of natural, simple, rooted composure,
You are not a manufactured, manipulated, messed with piece of food,
You are kale, and nothing more than kale,
Your ingredients lists reads left to right Kale, and nothing more than that simplistic four letter word,
You are not like the other foods that can be found in your local Ralphs,
You are kale, and nothing more than kale.
A student said What is the kale?, tossing it to me with disgust
Why how do I know?
This leaf is not an object of love,
A gift one gets another to symbolize matrimony.
Maybe it is the sign of things to come,
Things of health, beauty, wellness, and such great things no one could dream up,
Maybe it is like a state flag, waving to declare its independence from all other leafy greens,
Greens of arugula, greens of spinach, greens of romaine, greens of butter lettuce.
But it seems this leaf is more than a salad starter,
More than a trendy item one can throw in a pressed juice and sell for $7,
More than a bitter except of nature.
I massage the leaf, using my hands to fully enclose the leaf with the oils and the juices of all sorts,
For maybe I will discover its meaning,
For maybe I will bring out the richness it encompasses,
For maybe the flavors will burst onto the page and write this poem for me!
I go on, massaging the kale,
Letting the freshness encapsulate my nose like an Abercrombie store
Massaging the life out of this poor, bullied, destroyed olive green leaf,
But then I think of its offspring,
I think of the offspring kale sprouts and how neglected they are as a vegetable.
What has become of the offspring?
Are they thriving alive and well inside a Trader Joes bag?
These offspring are doing just fine,
Fine for a packaged vegetable anyways.
I continue massaging the kale deep into the afternoon and evening, nothing changes,
Deep into the evening, knowing its second home is not as pleasant as its first.
I hear kale is the new trend, the trend that will revolutionize the world,
But I disagree with the trend that will revolutionize the world.
Kale has been around since the Mayans, the Incas, the ancient Indians and Egyptians, kale is older than that,
Since Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Burr, Adams, kale is older than that,
Since the dinosaurs roamed, since bacteria was discovered, since we sent a man to the moon, Kale is older than that.
Do not speak of this trend,
This trend the way you do of quinoa, barley, farro, buckwheat,
The way you do of pressed juices, smoothie bowls, kombucha, almond butter,
Do not speak at all.
Next time you talk about your kale salad you had at Tender Greens,
Next time you instagram your juice using a VSCO cam filter I know you bought for $2.99,
And say “Day one here we go” when referring to the twisted juice cleanse you are about to do,
Next time you even think of calling a deep fried kale chip “healthy” when you attend the state fair,
You know what- just don’t even do it!
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