In the grocery store I buy beets.

my lover is coming to dinner tonight

and she has asked me for borscht.

I choose the largest bunch: 89 cents


There is no sour cream.

The aproned man tells me

“tomorrow morning.”  But my lover

is coming tonight.


Leaving, I see headlines;

“U.S. invades Grenada”

Fear coils within my ribs

and anger— that just as my life blooms

into sweetness, these idiots

up the ante.


I feel foolish as I drive to another store.

What does it matter if our borscht has sour cream or doesn’t?

But I buy the sour cream.


I scrub beets, chop

and put them to boil,

their rich red infusing the water.


This too is courage:

to cook, to eat

to seize our daily lives.



I took this page from a calendar the year before I came to Japan, so about 1986….I get strength when I read it…. it’s so simple and so hopeful.  It’s timeless……even today with California burning and the earth in peril and war raging in the middle east….we continue to live our lives.


last night I was frying up something for dinner and my 6 year old came in to get me….. he said “mom!!!!  come and look, the moon has just come up and it’s nearly full and it looks great…. you can see it clearly right now….come and see!”   I told him I couldn’t stop frying but as soon as I was done we could go together…… so we did…. I took his hand and we walked down the street… a six year old doesn’t just walk..every step is a skip or a hop or a jump or a kick… and we stood on the curve where we could see the moon in all her glory…. coming up over the hills…. it was great!!!!!!

I get comfort from the moon.  I know that while I look up at the moon with my son, the very same moon is shining down on the rest of my family . That very same moon is shining all over the world….shining joy and comfort and hopefully peace……

This too is courage.



6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jude
    Oct 25, 2007 @ 10:10:34

    beautiful post. the moon yes, it is shining here too….. thanks for the reminder of the easily forgotten privilege of living a simple life.


  2. Grandpa H
    Oct 26, 2007 @ 19:31:36

    Grandma H. says,like the poem very much and I don’t remember reading it before. I also like looking at the moon with my grandchildren when they are here, I told them once that when they are enjoying the moon where ever they are, I am also enjoying it where ever I am. Good work on the blog.


  3. Lauren/ Paida
    Oct 26, 2007 @ 22:07:46

    I love the Borscht/ Sour Cream poem. Nothing keeps your lover happy like Borscht.

    And yes we invaded Granada. Lesson: expressing ones imperialist ways works better in small Caribbean islands than big multi-ethnic desert lands on top of a lot of oil.

    Even through all the smoke we saw the same moon. Ironically the moon looked gorgeous because of the smoke.


  4. Heather
    Oct 29, 2007 @ 16:00:05

    We saw the moon through the trees on Gambier Island this weekend. I agree the moon is very special – I deliberately got married on a blue moon! And I love the poem.

    I have also enjoyed looking at the rest of your blog – those fabric fish are great!


  5. Bleu
    Nov 15, 2016 @ 16:38:34

    Do you, perchance, know the name of the author of this poem? It is so lovely and so appropriate right now


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