The phenomenal poets Anne Sexton & Ellen Bass bring two different views on the much-loved, summer favorite:
Oysters we ate,
sweet blue babies,
twelve eyes looked up at me,
running with lemon and Tabasco.
I was afraid to eat this father-food
and Father laughed and
drank down his martini,
clear as tears.
It was a soft medicine
that came from the sea into my mouth,
moist and plump.
It went down like a large pudding.
Then I ate one o’clock and two o’clock.
Then I laughed and then we laughed
and let me take note –
there was a…
by Ellen Bass
Who would believe in reincarnation
if she thought she would return as
an oyster? Eagles and wolves
are popular. Even domesticated cats
have their appeal. It’s not terribly distressing
to imagine being Missy, nibbling
kibble and lounging on the windowsill.
But I doubt the toothsome oyster has ever
been the totem of any shaman
fanning the Motherpeace Tarot
or smudging with sage.
Yet perhaps we could do worse
than aspire to be a plump bivalve. Humbly,
the oyster persists in….