25 July 2011

Love Poem No. 1

Love Song for American Milk

seeing you in the refrigerated aisle
lets me know I can keep living:
you and that big blue label
looking right back at me,
my perfect 1%.

how do you, so cold,
make me feel so warm inside?
so pure and pasteurized,
from home-grown cows 
all pasture-ized--
you surely do a body good.

four dollars a gallon
broke my heart while it
broke my wallet.
still, I've counted the cost,
and you're worth it.

now I’m here in europe
drinking semidesnata but 
thinking only of you.

they may live there someday--
those five lukewarm liters
may find refuge in my
refrigerator's bottom shelf.
but only you, 
rich, sweet milk of the homeland--
only you live in my heart.

(An editorial note: Milk has always been my favorite beverage. Growing up, my family was one of those families that actually had a milkman for several years, and there was nothing more beautiful than those rows of blue cartons lining our refrigerator's top shelf. Milk at school milk break! Milk with pizza! Milk to cool you down in the middle of a hot summer afternoon! Huge, frothy glasses of milk from the State Fair dairy booth! Oh, sweet, milky bliss! I'm certain my family could have built a second home solely out of milk cartons.

In Spain, grocery stores have rows and rows full of milk in boxes, just sitting out on non-refrigerated shelves. Here, milk is UHT (basically, ultra-pasteurized) rather than pasteurized, which means you can just store in the cupboard until you need it, and then you can stick it in the fridge so it's cold when you want to drink it. If you want to drink it. After the most non-refreshing glass of cold milk in my life, I've decided that I can only use box milk for wetting cereal. (Although I hear that Carrefour sells pasteurized milk--at higher prices, of course. This just means I need to splurge to survive!)
That said, of all the American things I miss right now, milk is the first. Followed closely by Hobby Lobby.)


suz said...

Me gusta el poema. Me gusta la leche Americana. Me gusta vacas.

sharbear said...

Muchas gracias! Vacas son mis favoritas.