Chicken Corn Soup

Adrienne Su

                                             

Despite corn’s known origins,

the dish proclaims itself German,

 

known as Dutch here in Cumberland

Valley. While it has in common

 

with my forebears a non-aversion

to bird feet and on occasion

 

giblets, the soup I first knew as chicken

corn contained neither. Suburban,

 

Georgian, and as proud as any neighbor

of our own Jimmy Carter,

 

I saw no contradiction in Del Monte

and Swanson in a Chinese recipe;

 

that was how it had always been.

For this comforting one, you opened

 

two cans (broth, creamed corn),

warmed the contents in a saucepan,

 

then added watercress for an instant

first or last course, actual chicken

 

optional. But now that I’ve dwelled in

Dutch country for a generation,

 

the name evokes a hearty main,

a long-simmered production

 

dependent on sweet corn in season,

although most cravings kick in

 

when it snows. Thus the solution:

in winter, be a Chinese American

 

from nineteen seventy-seven;

in summer, check out the garden.

The International Aisle: Asia

Adrienne Su

                                                            

Taste of ____.

Cup O’ Noodles.

Chinese Restaurant Tea.

Envelopes: curry, miso soup.

____ Kitchen.

 

My Mother's Pantry

Adrienne Su

                                                           

Cured ham,

rice wine, wine rice,

gefilte fish, Dole fruit cocktail,

thousand-year eggs, chrysanthemum

tea, rice.

 
 

This Is Just To Say

Adrienne Su

                                                           

I have eaten

the preserved plums

that you hauled

on the plane

 

and which

you were probably

saving

for the rest of the year

 

Forgive me

they were memory incarnate

so salty

and so sour

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