A vegetable that was once savoured
by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Good for them.
It's my first time; and I'm apprehensive.
Four small trees sit on my plate.
They're awaiting their crown
of ghee and mashed egg.
They sit there; menacing.
Taunting me, waiting for my reaction.
The condiments are passed around.
It's my turn next.
Mission: Garnish said vegetable.
Ghee; drizzled. Egg; smothered.
The drinks have been toasted,
good health was wished for all.
Cutlery is gently knocked
against our plates as
we prepare for the meal.
Dinner has begun.
I'll start with them and
get it over as quick as possible.
My fork penetrates the thick green skin
of the stalk.
I take my first cut.
My Father tuts.
No, no! I'm doing it all wrong!
Did he expect me to take lessons before we sat down?
He instructs me;
start from the end and
work your way up to the head.
That way, the taste gets better.
It was obvious by now, that I wasn't an asparagus eater by nature.
He nods; go on, try.
I'm not convinced but
I decide to proceed correctly.
Only because I don't want an audience while I eat.
I can hear them s ing on the plate.
She can't even cut us up properly!
Oh shut up.
My parents look up, bewildered.
I shake my head.
They go back to their conversation.
At Christmas you laughed at me from your dish.
Said I couldn't handle you.
I'll show you.
There's a piece on my fork now.
Well I wasn't going to snort it up.
The stainless steel fork
glints in my face.
With a reflection of green and yellow and white.
I never knew we had such shiny cutlery.
Oh bugger it.
Ghee's dropped onto my shirt.
A napkin; waved in my direction.
A muttering of thanks.
The asparagus are in fits now.
They can't believe I managed to do that.
I'm thoroughly annoyed by now.
In it goes.
Like an aeroplane.
Out comes the fork.
Bare in all it's shiny glory.
It's in my mouth now.
The jaw clamps.
And bitter juices spurt through my mouth.
Shaking my taste buds
and making them scream for the egg.
Up and down. Up and down.
Three more left.
And they all tasted really good.