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Cafeteria Okra

by Megan J. Saucier

On the bar buffet at the party was a selection of pickles
Among them pickled okra
I remarked to my friend, “I remember we used to have pickled okra on the salad bar in the cafeteria in elementary school.
“Picked Okra? That’s Bougie.”
Not bougie in that little town
          where okra is standard at many tables
          Okra and tomatoes, fried-in-cornmeal okra, filé gumbo (with slimy okra)
and apparently pickled okra on the salad bar
I would pick it up in my hand and peel back each faceted section
keeping it attached to the stem.
creating pickled starfish
I would graze my teeth against the flesh popping each delicious seed onto my tongue
          skimming each triangle until all the seeds had been consumed
flipping it back together, it resembled itself although slightly squished
          Then, I’d eat it
          A couple of bites
          Stem and all


Megan J. Saucier grew up in Southwest Louisiana, where most of her family still resides. Her experiences in the Deep South keep her connected to her Cajun French heritage. She is a writer and professional coach based out of Norfolk, Virginia.

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