This is my Alice in Wonderland type of journey through my bowl of salad. Some trials (including of the dietary variety) are best undertaken up close and personal! Also thrown in some existential angst for good measure. The title of the piece is a play on the phrase “Caught red-handed”.
I pick my way through little bits
Of bright green, the shade
Of fresh cut grass
I then pass
A scarlet flower the size of my head
It sits on the ground like it’s dead
Or perhaps waiting
Food? Me? Like the Venus flytrap?
I shudder and go on
It agitates me that I’m alone
I look up
On a frilly green tree
A brown green dome
Velvety on the outside
Is it a temple? A den? A ploy to lull the senses
Full of pretenses
Of warmth and safety
Waiting slyly for unsuspecting prey?
I shiver and go on
I’m borne on fogs
Of peppery wet air
I stop and stare
At uneven bricks of black and white
Here and there
Are these stairs to heaven? alien art? remains of ritual sacrifice?
I can’t tell … but oh the smell!
As I step through a hole
Soft and pliable, the pong
Makes my eyes water
I falter for a bit
It it a giant fungus? A virus? A disease?
I step through gingerly —
“Good afternoon ma’am. How’s the salad”
I’m startled, awakened from my reverie
I look down at my bowl
Where I had been traipsing
In a fearsome fantasy
That my despairing mind had woven
In garden salad tapestry
Lettuce, tomatoes, olives and cheese
Untouched, unloved, salt-pepper doused
Waiting for a forkful raised to my mouth
Sit patronisingly, self righteously
In the bowl, staring back at me.