Dish of Mashed Peas
Some people are not destined for happiness,
and I may be one of them.
You see, in certain parts of the world where
I have been and now live,
at least in my dreams, happiness is only
granted to a woman
who leaves a dish of mashed peas out in
the moonlight overnight.
But superstition does not name what moon
phase or if one must
eat the peas. Instructions too vague.
Peas uneaten. Moon dark.
No happiness yet. I’d ask my nana if she
were still here,
but she was the one who gauged oven heat
with a bent elbow
and said happiness was to bake a cake
Copyright © 2018 Susan Terris. Reprinted with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Autumn 2018.