Food Poem- Eggplant by Richard Jones


by Richard Jones

I’ve never liked the taste,

which, I think,

is a shame,

because some days

when my wife goes to work

and I walk to the grocery store,

I stand in the produce aisle,

admiring those gorgeous

purple fruits––

wine colored,

sensuously curved––

and can’t help but reach out

and pick one up, just to hold it,

so silky smooth, so luscious looking

I almost fall in love,

but then remember

who I am:

a man not fond of eggplant.


I linger and look

and there in the bin

under the misters and lights,

I find it––

the perfect eggplant,

the glossy flesh unblemished,

meat firm under the fingers,

the stem and cap

bright green.

The fruit heavy in the hand,

I place the eggplant

in my cart,

taking special care,

knowing an eggplant is delicate

and wounds easily.

I carry the grocery bag home

through a light rain

and arrange the eggplant

on a white tablecloth,

the opulent purple orb

lustrous in the window light

and quietly beautiful

as if lying on satin sheets.

Then I sit in the wing chair.

The house grows dark

as the rain falls harder

and I wait for my wife

to come home from work,

shake off her raincoat,

turn on the lamp,

and behold the eggplant.

“Eggplant” by Richard Jones from Stranger on Earth. © Copper Canyon Press, 2018. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

Writers Almanac, July 5th, 2019

Here’s what I’d do with a beautiful purple eggplant:

If a rainy summer day, fry sliced rounds smeared with salt, ground turmeric, and chilli pepper. Eat with flaky paratha/ flat bread.


If hot and sunny summer day, grill it until soft. Smash and mix it with salt, lemon juice, sliced onions, chopped cilantro, chopped thai chili pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil or mustard oil. Serve with bread or rice and light daal.


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