Eating Wiener Schnitzel

He craves Wiener Schnitzel
and egg rolls –
complicated request –
they settle on
Austrian, forgo
the Chinese.

Noise of the place
disconcerts her –
rather be home
or somewhere quieter
(though she’d never say),
insecurity slides in
as resentment
pulls up a chair –

How is she dining here
with indifference?

Restaurants take her back
when the heat of the kitchen
consumed her –
yelled orders,
yelled at,
rush to cater
tip or no tip

A real education,
her Father said,
but sore feet and
a broken back
left her none the wiser

Stuffiness of ochre walls,
brocade upholstery
close in, reminder
of former lovers,

She doesn’t even like milk-fed calf

Mind wanders to other walls,
now crumbled, remnants
of dreams, boundaries
set when pup- like
loyalty won hearts,
shattered her own.

So many failures
she is ashamed
feels like a stray
living off scraps

It’s a rocky path
she travels these days
solid ground a forgotten
concept, teetering
on brink of flight
no legs to carry her

Resigns herself
to Wiener Schnitzel
convinced that compromise
matters more than
personal fulfillment –

Takes a bite of baby cow and smiles.

(Eating Wiener Schnitzel first appeared here November 2016.  This edition is edited.  Image from personal collection.)


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

27 thoughts on “Eating Wiener Schnitzel”

  1. I would be content to eat Wiener Schnitzel. I was station in Germany from 1976-1980. I dream of the wonderful German food. In life we struggle. Easy to fall down. I felt the struggle in your words.

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  2. Oh I loved this! Yes indeed compromise can be a struggle. Dining on Wiener schnitzel doesn’t seem that hard although I’d probably ask for a salad! Does that still count as a compromise? 🙂
    I loved the line “ resentment pulled up a chair”. It’s so easy for that t9 happen.

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  3. made me think of a fatted calf scenario, celebrate the return of the prodigal son, the daughter/woman always taking second place; I can almost feel the shrugging shoulders towards the end of the poem

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    1. Exactly what my husband asked, lol. The inspiration for the poem came from a dream. It is not something I would normally eat, but have on occasion – usually on a date. It represents the compromises we make to please another.


  4. Effective portrayal of variance between inner Self and outer Self … seldom do they completely align (in my own experience!) … seldom is either delivering “right” vs “wrong” impulses …
    It’s a wonder we don’t all go crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my. This is such a well crafted path to the struggle with compromise…or not. While the triggers pile up. I love the line “resentment pulls up a chair.” (I’d be curious to read the original version)

    Liked by 1 person

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