They were hunted down, taken, and sent asunder.
When unwanted was there placed ignominy.
Long had their presence, their aura, their existence disgusted me.
An abhorrence, a detestation were both to them a moniker.
The cries of thousands of their brothers I left in a brown paper cemetery
would go unheard, unregistered in my ears and soul.
I would never need them, I would say, they will fulfill no goal.
Ever silent, ever patient, they stood unitary.
Whether maturing together in small glass homes filled with life-inducing water,
or commissioned individually along with a feast,
they tried to win my favour without cease.
They followed me to the ends of the earth, attesting their devoir.
Then, under the heat of foreign sunshine
they saved me: this man.
I was betrayed by one from our clan.
Lo, I could consider him one in our line.
For in my native land, his kind were sturdy, dusty orbs of starch.
By them, notoriety and honour were bestowed on my people.
Yet adored and savoured, these sub-earth dwellers are deceitful.
Bathed in the riches of oils, they hasten your death march.
Distilled into a fluid state, they exchange confidence with your salubrity.
The latter of tricks on me they often inveigle.
Afar, I had imbibed too much of their crystal clear fettle.
When tongue and soul thirst, they entered my body.
It was my own fault; I willingly invited them in.
I trusted them to make me less phlegmatic.
Instead, they threatened my stomach to become erratic.
Direly, I needed help; urgently, I needed restitution.
The one who came to save me from self-induced sickness,
was the same one I had rejected for so long.
Innocently laid upon a bland quilt of white, our paths had crossed anon.
It cast no judgments on me, as I had done for such lastingness.
I made no bargain with the spokesperson.
Delusion and disease forced me to accept their charity
No apology issued, their aid I needed urgently.
Their zest of life saved me from destruction.
Time had passed; I thought no more of that day
until I had seen them again presenting their service without menace.
They saw me and casted not a single glance of sourness.
A quarter of a century later, their worth revealed to me right away.
Now, when asked if I desire their presence at meals –
they accepted a submissive apology of mine
while stewing in their domes of vinegar and brine –
“Yes, please,” I say with a grin, “and with extra pickles.”