Bitter Gourd


The bitter gourd salad is one
Of my mother’s favorite dishes,
Where she cuts the bitter gourd
Into slices, fries them, adds a whisk of salt
And brings them to the table.

And how beautiful is every section of
A bitter gourd that carves out
From her outer border delicate petals
That only bloom when chopped
On a kitchen cutting board.

Oh look at that long sinuous journey
An embittering time of loss and regret, when I failed
To see the flower beds God had deftly planted,

That bloom most days inside a salad bowl,
Holding aloft the beautiful antheses,

Of the road not traveled.