Something there is that doesn’t care for cabbage
That sends the crisper drawer against it,
And turns the outer edges black in the cold,
And makes sandwiches that even hunger rejects.
The work of freezer burn is another thing:
I have come after the ends and made a tear
Where it has left not one leaf a whole leaf,
But it would have the edible back in hiding,
To please the rotting gods. The raw edges I mean,
No one has eaten them or desired them eaten,
But at fridge cleaning-time we find them there.
I let my housemate know beyond the door;
And on a day we meet to fill trash bags
And set produce between the shelves once again.
We keep the bags between us as we go.
To each the blackness that has blighted each.
And some are soft and some so nearly gone
We have to use a towel to make them vanish:
‘Stay here on the white square until our backs are turned!’
We wear our nostrils white with pinching them.
Oh, just another sort of clean-out game,
Each with a glove. It comes to little more:
Where we do not need the bag:
He is all pine-sol and I am baking soda.
My arm will never hammer across
And weaken his pine’s resolve, I tell him.
He only says, ‘Good cleaning gets rid of leftovers’.
The CSA is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put more cabbage in our shed:
‘Why do we have such leftovers? Aren’t we
eating like cows?’
But here there are no cows.
Before I throw away it all I’d ask to know
What I was keeping in or tossing out,
And to whom I should like to give some shopping sense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a cabbage,
That lets it brown. ‘I could say ‘Carnivores’ to him,
But it’s not carnivores exactly, and I’d rather
He ate it all himself. I see him there
Bringing a bag grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like a stoned fridge savage armed.
He moves in darkness just as the leaves–
Not of freezer-burn only and the grease.
He will not go behind his initial saying,
And he likes having gotten the smell out so well
He says again, “Good cleaning gets rid of leftovers.”