Song for Lard by Susan Elbe02 May 2017, Posted by Poetry in
Art Credit: “Confusione” by Vivian Nimue Wood Valle d’ Aosta
SONG FOR LARD
I sing for pig fat, for leaf lard, fatback, caul fat, for the small white icebergs my grandmother dropped into a black iron skillet she never washed, only swiped with newsprint and put on the oven’s bottom rack, ready for its next use.
I sing for the sizzle of poor man’s food—bladed and gristly shoulder meat, pork steak fried in the melt of flare fat, and potatoes raw fried in the same grease, thin, slippery coins with their almost-burned edges crunching between teeth. I sing for the skin and membrane of it.
I sing for the visceral delicious, the God fat, sacrificial reins where the heart desires. Andfor the hard fat of everything that gets under your skin. And for the lace-fat apron covering the gut, the deepest know and feel. I sing for the love grandmothers rendered so none would go hungry. I sing to remember, for the crackling inside me, the rancid smoke of my skin, how I learned to lick my greasy fingers clean.
About the author:
Susan Elbe is the author of The Map of What Happened, winner of the 2012 Backwaters Press Prize and the Jacar Press 2014 Julie Suk Prize for the best book of poetry published by an independent press in 2013, Eden in the Rearview Mirror (Word Poetry), Where Good Swimmers Drown (Concrete Wolf Press), and Light Made from Nothing (Parallel Press). Learn more about her at www.susanelbe.com.