An Ode to the Closing of My Favourite Deli
for Queenie Prince
Anchovies and ancestry always used to have the same ring
when I was younger. The same way I always thought
herrings were red, until I saw them curled like silver tongues
behind the deli counter.
I knew of the way we smuggle heritage into meals, that to pass
a plate of salt beef into asking hands was a gift.
We draw back memories the way we do chairs, offer slices of life
over cheesecake, swilling words and wine.
I could never quite understand
my heartache at missing such spreads when I left home,
until I realised it was not the joy of eating I missed
but the narrative.
Even now with the empty places
we do not mourn,
we do not lose appetite,
but we celebrate and we gorge, and it is within
the salt flecks that we find
our remembrance, our gratitude, our faith.
Jade Prince (she/her) is a 21 year old from Essex, England, who recently completed her BA English Literature with Creative Writing. She has been selected as feature poet in Makarelle, had work published in Ink, Sweat & Tears and Sunday Mornings at the River, and was a runner up for the Alison Morland Prize 2020. Her time is currently spent completing a Masters in Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds.