“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”
Far away in a distant land, folks live in houses of cheese.
The rinds are very hard, you see, and fragrant as you could please.
And on the occasionally rainy day, the water just runs right off;
the waxy rind stays firm and fine, and the water pours into a trough.
Surrounding their houses are meadows and fields where live their well-fed cows.
They’re fat and sweet, for all day they eat and all night they continue to browse.
The milk they give is yellow and rich and makes the best butter and cheese.
Crops of the land are hearty and grand with honey from the fanciest bees.
Every year, at house building time, the people take stock of their needs.
And if a young couple is ready to wed, they start clearing away the weeds
in a likely spot on a likely hill, not too far from their kith and kin,
and there they roll a huge wheel of cheese and there they prepare to begin.
Carving a house from a mountainous cheese isn’t easy, as you might guess.
Caution is needed, and skill is required, and it still makes a heck of a mess.
But this is the way things are done, over there, so this is what they do:
They carefully carve and chisel and shape and cleave and hack and hew.
All of the lovely cheese inside is excavated with care.
For everyone the whole village-wide, is always expected to share.
And the young married couple, hand in hand always take the very first bite,
He holds her cheese, she holds his, just to see if it tastes quite right.
All hold their breath as the morsel is bitten, all breathe in relief as it’s savored,
for none of them like disagreeable cheese, or one that’s indifferently flavored.
In the long run, when the carving is done, the couple takes their vows
in their lovely, fragrant, empty rind, with a broom, and a bed, and a cow.
I know it must sound silly and strange, this living in houses of cheese.
But this is how the story was told to me, so I make no guarantees.
Just ponder and wonder, daydream and debate, weigh and brood and appraise .
Soon you’ll agree to imagine with me their fabulous cheesy ways.
©2014 Diana Terrill Clark