Daddy and the Christmas Ham, poem by Alarie Tennille (ME, DURING THE HOLIDAYS Poetry and Prose Series)

A lovely poem from a lovely writer, Alarie Tennille.

Silver Birch Press

TennilleDaddy and the Christmas Ham
by Alarie Tennille

“Hurry!” we’d say,
but Daddy wouldn’t,
carving the Smithfield ham
so thin you could see
the light through it.
No matter how many
empty dinner rolls waited,
he would saw with slow precision,
gripping the greasy handle
of the knife, its blade
worn into a thin arc
like the growing hollow
of the shank. As each pink
sheet came free, he would
hold it up for inspection.
“How’s this?” he’d ask,
relishing his rare chance
to impress the whole family.

SOURCE: A version of this poem was published in the author’s book, Running Counterclockwise.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Notice that Daddy is all dressed up to carve the messy ham. For some reason he’s wearing a name tag in his own kitchen, too. I grew up very near Smithfield, Virginia, and their peanut-fed, salt-cured hams are a delicacy we ate every Christmas…

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