Dramatic Monologue: A Lesson with Julia Child by Carol Davis Koss22 Nov 2017, Posted by Poetry in
DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE: A LESSON WITH JULIA CHILD
Oops – I dropped the squab!
Don’t let that bother you.
Just grab a cloth or paper towel
and wipe away the black spots.
No one will know – if you don’t tell them.
(And, you won’t tell them, right?)
Preheat the oven to 325, and pour
yourself a glass of Bordeaux
I prefer a stemmed glass;
but, I see you don’t.
How is a squab different from a chicken,
you ask? Well, it isn’t. That is, a squab
is a baby chicken – an infant chicken –
about two months old – a mere toddler.
So delicious and tender.
Have you read Swift’s “A Modest Proposal“?
You watched me remove the giblets.
Time to ‘take stock.’; You don’t find that funny?
The giblets : the neck, the gizzard, its heart.
In a pot with a little chicken fat and onions.
Will you chop the onions? Oops, again –
but, what’s a little blood. It will cook down.
Time to add a dollop of wine. Also, red.
Add a little water. How much, you want to know?
Just a little – to cover the neck, the gizzard, the heart.
You’re looking pale. Take another sip of wine.
Now ─ you will stuff this squab, this pigeon,
this poussin coquelet – with shallots and thyme,
with a few chopped mushrooms,
with a touch of whatever pleases you.
Apple – you want to put in chopped apple?
Well, why not? Here’s an apple.
Go ahead and chop it. But, no more blood.
Too much umami.
Did you melt the butter? Ah, good.
Next, mix some salt with the butter
and grind in a little pepper.
Not too much and not too little.
That looks good.
Rub the squab with the melted butter
and remember to wash your hands.
We both need to wash our hands.
Don’t worry about the floor.
We’ll wipe that up later.
Here’s the string. Truss its little legs.
Put it in the roasting pan
and set the first timer for 35 minutes.
A second timer? Why a second timer?
Well, about every five minutes, you
will baste the baby.
We will have some more wine.
I have found, when I am drinking wine,
a second timer is helpful.
I strongly suggest Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.”
About the author:
By birth a New Yorker, Carol Koss has lived in Oklahoma City for more than forty years. She has taught English, Creative Writing, and Remedial Reading to students from middle school through college; and in venues that range from wealthy suburbs to the South Bronx, from churches to prisons. A graduate of the City College of New York, Koss has a masters in English from Purdue University and has done post masters work at Teachers College (Columbia University), and the University of Oklahoma.
Art: Cyril Larvor, @cyrillarvor, Paris, France