ginger snaps

ginger snaps

Ryan Eichenwald - "How Do You Peel Raw Ginger?"

2w ago
SOURCE  

Description

Happy Birthday, Sam. My third spoken word poem, performed at Spoken Verb Duke on September 4, 2014. Transcript below. How Do You Peel Raw Ginger? If you’ve never peeled raw ginger before It goes a little something like this You’re trying to baptize a cat Or burn more than a pound of fat You’re playing a sonata with one finger It’s lumpy Irregular Like tree branches with goiter Everything gets in your way. Ginger? Does not like you. Those of you with younger siblings Or, god forbid, Children, Have probably figured out by now That I’m not talking about a spice But in fact a person. I’m talking about my best friend. When my little brother was born I apparently Did not like him very much. The story goes that When asked what I thought of him I just said “Sam right here” And pointed at the little Bundle of Satan That was to become my little brother. He was quiet, back then We didn’t know what he would become. For much of his life, My brother has been Belligerent Argumentative A pack of trouble Wrapped up in a skin of raw ginger Metaphorically And dermatologically His skin’s inability to smooth out Only matched by that of his personality My brother Learned to argue with the best of them My brother Learned to lie with ease If little skill My brother Would not back down Even when he knew he was wrong My brother Is stubborn And always has been Back in the day When we would play Together Our arguments shook the ceiling Tiny feet stamping on carpet floors But my brother And I Two thieves of the pantry Knights of the foam baseball bat We barely understood each other Barely listened But what we did know was always enough. We were the best of friends, Always were And always will be. But for the longest time My brother Didn’t know where he was going. Raw ginger is, after all, Not something you can use In any dish I know. My stubborn brother Immovable as ginger Immutable as ginger Stood in nowhere And fought Every push Every map Every set of directions How do you shape something that fights you every turn? How do you peel raw ginger? Slowly, and with great patience. My father is Among other things A man of monumental patience and resolve. No matter how disappointed He may have been sometimes He kept peeling With great care And no matter how many times he cut his finger He did not stop And last year My brother Listened Last year My brother Did the most courageous thing I’ve ever seen. The boy who brooked no argument Admitted he was wrong. And my family has— I have— Never been so proud Of anything As I was when he first said “I’m sorry” And meant it. My brother Is different now He captures the light of the dying day Over the river of Prague. He sees the world In a way that I never can. He sees beauty In things I Would never notice My brother Taught me To apologize And mean it Not with just my words But my soul. So when I ask Why do we peel raw ginger I know the answer Because the skin may fight you at every turn Your fingers may bleed Your throat may burn But the best cookies I ever had Were the ginger snaps That my brother Made me.