Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Liz Berry / Bostin Fittle

Liz Berry, winner of the Forward First Collection prize 2014

Bostin Fittle

by Liz Berry
At Nanny's I ate brains for tea,
mashed with hard-boiled egg,
or trotters, groaty pudding,
faggots minced with kidney and suet.
Right bostin fittle, Nanny said.
She knew hunger, knew how
to press a blade sure and firm
on the pig's fat ribs, clack the neck
of the cockerel. An apprentice,
I studied her careful craft:
the sweet heart hidden in the rotten 
cabbage, chitterlings plaited
like a rope of hair.
Elbow deep in rabbit, floury
chunks of lard, I touched
my lips to the hide of the past:
salty, dark, unexpected
as the rook she'd baked
for her bride-feast, that flew,
crawing from her hands to his tongue.

bostin fittle great food

• From Black Country by Liz Berry 

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