chef abdul 2
Food as Flowers (The Small Restaurant)
by Tricia Marcella Cimera

Tebsi  Kubba Kushari
Tabbouleh Schwarma —
names of food
like exotic flowers
from another place
at Chef Abdul, a small
family restaurant
where everyone
is One.
During Covid-19
they give away
kids meals, apples,
fresh bread —
food offered
like temple flowers
we receive
in cupped hands.

Previously appeared on the St. Charles Arts Council website (Illinois) in a slightly different version (May 2020).

PHOTO: Chef Abdul, Chef Abdul Mediterranean restaurant (St. Charles, Illinois). 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Chef Abdul and his family at Chef Abdul Mediterranean restaurant in St. Charles, Illinois, cook wonderful food that is Iraqi and Egyptian in origin. When they first opened, they gave away full meals to introduce their cuisine to the community. From the beginning of COVID-19, this small restaurant has gifted food to all.  They are hardworking immigrants, always smiling when people come in.  THIS IS WHAT AMERICA IS ABOUT, WHAT IT IS BUILT ON.  I’m the daughter of a Czech immigrant.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tricia Marcella Cimera is a Midwestern poet with a worldview. Published works have appeared in places ranging from the Buddhist Poetry Review to The Ekphrastic Review.  Her micro-chapbook called GO SLOW, LEONARD COHEN was released through the Origami Poems Project.  One of her poems was pleased to receive a recent Pushcart Prize and another was awarded a Best of the Net nomination.  She lives with her husband and family of animals in Illinois, in a town called St. Charles, by a river named Fox, with a Poetry Box (also named Fox) in her front yard.