Poem: If you give a girl a chickpea

Pulses as poetry

Mary Gray
March 17, 2020 - 15:37

If you give a girl a chickpea

when she’s barely boiled an egg,

do not be quick to doubt her,

for you’ve gone and upped her leg.

 

 

Sorana or Corona fans will

mock this, call it shtick,

but no pantry is pieno

sans the sacred pea of chick.

 

 

Cheap at Conad, dull in color,

this legume has little vim.

Yet we all know Calvin Coolidge;

how it clearly worked for him!

 

 

If you give a girl a chickpea—

canned or dried, as it may go—

you’ll be buying her a ticket

to a lifelong cooking show.

 

 

See, a chickpea or a cecio

is a bean without a match.

Any self-respecting home cook

will be wise to stock a batch.

 

 

She can whip up a minestra

adding ginger and some heat.

Chuck them into ribollita, though,

and she’ll be called a cheat.

 

 

 

The pulse in question

 

 

 

If you give a girl a chickpea

between Christmas and New Year

It will tide her over un-til

tredicesima gets here.

 

 

She need only sprinkle pepper,

perhaps doctor with fresh herbs;

With tweaks like this, the chickpea,

well, the appetite, it curbs.

 

 

Homemade hummus would be ideal

paired with vegetables to graze

But for her to buy tahini,

She will first need a pay raise.

 

 

If you give a girl a chickpea

and she grows tired of the taste,

Tell her, “Flavors don’t stay stagnant

paired with Mutti ‘mato paste.”

 

 

Flatbreads are the next step

for committed cecio chicks.

Take her to Livorno;

watch her pick up torta tricks.

 

 

High in protein, low in pricing,

yea, the chickpea seems a bore.

On its own it may depress us;

dressed up right, it offers more.

 

 

Should your Job-esque genes be lacking,

chickpeas may not be your fruit.

Yet for patient and creative types,

They’re prime nonperishable loot.

 

 

Look at chickpeas through the lenses

Of discerning Florentines

And you won’t need me to tell you

The ends justify the beans.

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