Pappadam

Oh the crispy bites and the salty taste
Of a miracle of wheat and black gram flour
A wafer-thin orb sculpted by human palms
And parched by the persistent sun
On sandy coves of the Sri Lankan coastline
What is fried in oil and demi-dried on old newspapers
To bequeath her crispiness, aroma and taste
Where sentience rests on taste buds gushing with saliva
And the dripping moistness of coconut oil
As the crusty biting noise of serrated enamel
Lifts the spirits of a maddening insatiability
Where adults scheme onlookers to fill their plates
And children stuff bloated balloons with rice
As a South Asian delicacy unites the ethnic divide
Where saris, frocks and hijabs unite
On the melting pot of a frying pan
Where an ochre-yellow sphere rests
As an emblem of our new-found peace
What is as near-complete as an imperfect circle
Yet is crispy and fragile in body
And will perpetuate within the common man’s lips
As the peacemaker of taste

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Author: meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, American Journal of Poetry, Kitaab, Eastlit and Ravens Perch. He mixes science with poetry for a living, when what matters is the expression of both DNA and words into something serendipitous. Although an Australian citizen, Dilantha is domiciled in Sri Lanka, his country of birth.

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