What I Don’t Know About Tacos

I could ask my mother I suppose

We had homemade tacos tonight

Tomatoes and sweet onions with patent numbers,

Mexican lettuce and Kraft’s version of cheese

Yet they were quite tasty

 

We baked the cardboard-boxed, shrink-wrapped

Pre-formed and cooked shells to a nice crunch

And I remembered tacos past

Being very young in Montgomery

Mama cooking the meat and the tacos

in skillets on the stove top

 

The tacos were the white soft, flat stacked kind

The meat a little greasy, draining on paper

Did she cook them in water or margarine?

I know it wasn’t butter, progress and all

Instant coffee, biscuit tubes, Kraft Mac and margerine

 

Where did she learn about tacos? In Mississippi?

At the ladies church luncheon? Better House Keeping?

I could ask her, but I never have, and why did she change

To the pre-made crunchy kind when I was in my teens?

And how did she cook on the stove top

In the summer in Alabama without A/C?

 

Where are the little grocery stores,

Meat in a case and fresh local produce

Stacked in bins and a few rows

of canned goods and staples

In short crowded aisles in between

 

I had a Mexican in-law for awhile

Once a year we would cook chicken tacos

An all day event and the night before, too

Tasty, but a lot of work, but they were Mexican

How did my mother come to make a taco?

How did she ever leave fried chicken

And slow oven roasted beef?

 

I could ask Mama, and maybe I will

Because there is a lot I don’t know about tacos

 

(I wrote this in 2003, unfortunately, I can no longer ask my mother, as she died this past January)

 

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About anthonyuplandpoetwatkins

https://www.goodreads.com/AnthonyUplandpoetWatkins born in Jackson, The United States August 04, 1959 gender male website http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?contributorI... genre Poetry, Historical Fiction influences James M. Lancaster, Brenda Black White, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, and Al Filreis member since March 2011 About this author edit data As one of the most public lives ever lived by a private citizen, there is little about me that isn't already available at Facebook or Shelfari and countless other places. Poet, writer, construction worker, salesman, truck driver, climber into the attics of total strangers, father and husband, and all around one of the luckiest men on the planet. My luck continued with a win in the June Goodreads Newsletter Contest! What an honor! http://anthonyuplandpoetwatkins.wordp... Additional Influences: Bob Dylan, William Faulkner, Barbara Kingsolver, Gloria Naylor, Eudora Welty
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