Bananas – A Poem

I sit on my overstuffed couch

Scrolling on my iPhone

Waiting

Impatiently

For groceries 

Annoyed

At not being able to get all the food 

I ordered from that same couch

Two weeks ago.

 

She sits in her second hand Honda 

Giving her phone to her toddler

Popping the trunk

Opening her door in the rain 

Gathering two bags at a time

Making five trips

Leaving  them on the covered porch

And, after ringing the doorbell

Swiftly getting back into her car.

 

I open the door 

Dismayed that two bags had fallen over

And the cereal had gotten wet 

I see her drive off with the toddler in the back

Eating a banana 

And I wonder if that’s why I didn’t get bananas in my groceries. 

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This poem was written for Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt from last week. She requested poems with a “focus on right versus wrong, life versus death, on living wages, guaranteed health-care for all, unemployment and labor rights. Dare we move beyond yearning to hope.” I love how her prompts usually involve some aspects of social commentary.   I’m not sure if my poem above captures her request, but given our current environment, shopping – and in some cases, hoarding – can be an issue of life versus death.

I admit, I didn’t take the threat of this virus too seriously in the beginning so I didn’t engage in the toilet paper and anti-bacterial cleaner hoarding.  I did go to Costco with a friend who encouraged me to at least get some extra food, extra medicines and a new flashlight and batteries. While we were there, I had to take my son to the bathroom and asked her to watch my cart. When I returned, she said that someone had asked her if they could take one of the packages of ramen noodles that I had since there weren’t any more on the shelves (my hubby eats ramen for a midnight snack every night). My good friend defended my right to have the last package of ramen noodles and sent this person on their way. I was in shock that someone would want to take food from someone else’s cart, and this was even before schools and other venues were closed, before the US federal government admitted that the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, was a serious health threat.

Now, after three weeks of shelter-in-place, I am glad for the extra food that I bought that day. But as I look in our freezer, I realized that I am running out of food. My friend (who I went to Costco with) had already placed an order from our local supermarket the week after we went to Costco and was having groceries delivered this week. She even laughs jokingly about hoarding paper goods, but I know she has more than enough toilet paper to last through summer.

I’m now looking at ordering groceries and having them delivered, and I feel guilt. I can stay safe in my house and have minimal risk of contracting the coronavirus while other people don’t have that ability or that choice.  While my current living situation (which we worked hard to achieve) allows me that luxury, what about the people who will be delivering these groceries? What about the people who are working as cashiers at the supermarket? Who are stocking the shelves? Who are working in the warehouses? Who are trucking the supplies to put in the warehouses? Who are cleaning the stores once everyone leaves? Who are picking up the garbage from these stores? All these people who have to risk their lives, while I can sit in the safety and comfort of my home, waiting for the doorbell to ring.

 

(c) 2020  iido

 

 

Do You Want Fries With That? – A Quadrille

Your wild red hair,

Pale skin and

Painted lips belied

Your power.

Despite scientists showing

The Traditional Ways were better,

Our greased guts and

A-salt-ed hearts craved the

Colonial Menu

Of broken McPromises and

Big McLies.

Our health for Your wealth.

Not funny, Clown.

Jamie Dedes had a guest “prompter” this past week, Zimbabwean poet activist, Mbizo Chirasha. His prompt requested poems or prose about “neocolonialism or the use in place of direct imperialism of capitalism, globalization, and cultural imperialism for the suppression of human rights by First World actors in Third World arenas.” A difficult, yet thought provoking challenge. You can find responses to this prompt here.

I was also able to incorporate Kim’s prompt for D’Verse Quadrille #96 – Wild.

Being an immigrant to this first world country, I realize now how much the USA has influenced my country of origin, for better or worse. To me, this influence can be found in colorism and internalized racism. It is also most evident in the preponderance of American food, specifically fast food, found in every mall (also an American concept) and every city, large and small.

It is truly a wild concept that the USA can consider McDonalds, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, KFC and other fast food restaurants as main exports. It isn’t just the food but what that food symbolizes about the “American Dream” – is this really what America is all about?

©️ 2020 iido

Organic: Can I have what she’s having?

Inspired by Pic and a Word #147 – Organic. Again, Patrick’s lovely picture and prose lead me down a different path. This ode is to a practical struggle that some people (especially parents, I think) grapple with every time they go to the grocery store. (Also, if you don’t get the reference in the title, then you and I are not of the same generation!)

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I didn’t buy it

Despite the warnings

The “shoulds” of good motherhood

Like wipe warmers and vaccines

It’s a well educated privilege

Yet

The expense – Is it worth it?

You know, it’s a conspiracy, right?

We didn’t grow up that way

Don’t spoil them

A little dirt is good for you

But

It’s more than dirt

It’s more than chemicals

It’s molecules and manipulations

And making money

Still

The 9 haunts me

The butterfly taunts me

I should have just bought organic


©️iido 2018

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As a runner and a mom, healthy eating is important to me. However, following through on every food related recommendation can be daunting, especially when you have numerous mouths spouting (and sometimes shouting) competing requests.

This summer, I’ve been endeavoring to eat more non-processed foods, especially for the snacks. I was inspired by the book, Nutrition Performance for Runners. I’ve been buying organic, non-GMO foods when it doesn’t break the budget. Steering the kids (and myself!) towards whole fruits and veggies instead of fruit snacks and bars is constant retraining.

We are fortunate enough to live in an area with a lot of farmers’ markets and roadside farm stands. However, not all these farms are organic or non-GMO. I’ve found it is important to ask questions about how the food is grown. I still go to the supermarket and reading labels has become second nature to me. Needing to balance time (how many farmers’ stalls can I visit and still have time to stop at the store before picking up the kids?) and budget, factors into my food buying decisions.

Am I alone in this dilemma? A lot of people seem “all or nothing” regarding what to buy (as well as where. Did I mention we just got a Whole Foods market that is already causing traffic?).

Cookie blood

No worries – this isn’t one of those gross posts…it’s my attempt at explaining why I haven’t been posting…or running…

I started this blog because running had become such an integral part of my life in CA…I thought running was in my blood but what I really have in my blood is this:


And now this:


Yes, I am cooking periogies with chopsticks….

We’ve been here a little over a month and are mostly unpacked. The “We just moved here” excuse is wearing thin.

It’s been hot and humid here, but I just moved from CA where hot is the norm so that excuse is wearing thin.

We live in a low traffic neighborhood and I’ve found a couple of places that seem safe to run so the “I don’t have any place to run” excuse is wearing thin.

The only thing not “wearing thin” (as in my “skinny” clothes) is me.

I have connected with my local Moms RUN this Town chapter and have posted runs. I’ve even gone out on one run with a lovely mother runner last the Sunday and have gone on two run/walks this week – but consistent running love has been elusive.

I’ve lost my identity/passion as a mother runner in the almost two months since I’ve gone for a run. The idea of running as a “must” for me has gone out the window – or windows as seems to be the case when I gaze through these lovelies in our new home, safely ensconced in air conditioning with cookies baking in our open concept kitchen, thinking of running but not even wearing workout clothes or sneakers.


Yes – I am “safely ensconced”. I don’t have to deal with the fear of wondering how fast I can run or how long I can run. I don’t have to deal with the worries of how I compare to other women who run and have kids (and even have jobs outside the home). I don’t have to worry about sweating or having to push a ridiculously heavy double stroller. I don’t have to worry about pushing  myself out of my comfort zone or out of these comfortable elastic waistband pants.

Another cookie will help with every day stress…not a run though…nope, I’m not making the time to do something that should only be done if you’re running late or being chased.

I’m kidding, of course! Kinda…

These are just some of the excuses that run through my brain on a daily basis that have held me back from lacing up my sneakers and going for a run.

But the recent news about women being attacked and killed while running has me thinking. Despite all the advances women have made in this world, there is still a lot of sexism and other barriers that women have to deal with and fear. It isn’t fair. It isn’t right.

Maybe going for a run is more than just about getting back into my “pre-preggo” jeans. Maybe there is more meaning behind it than just selfishly wanting to look better and be healthier.

Putting on a running bra is going to be my version of bra burning
I’m getting out back there. I am going to post my runs on the MRTT FB and stay accountable. I am going to fall back in love with running and regain the feelings of strength and calmness it give me. I am going to love the sweat and the stink and show kiddies how their mom perseveres and accomplishes her goals.  I am going to start putting that one foot in front of the other…

…right after I finish this cookie.

Rest Area Food Rant

Lessons – A haiku

Amidst the Beauty
Stomach turning grease and fat
Next time, bring picnic 


The poem above was inspired by the 10 lbs I gained on this road trip and the Pic and Word Challenge #43 by @pixtowords. 

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We are almost to our destination – I can’t believe we’ve been driving and living out of our minivan for the past 2 weeks. It’s been quite an adventure – one that I am so glad we took as a family. The kids were great at keeping themselves entertained without electronics for about 95% of the trip – thank goodness for friends who supplied us with car games and books and a hubby who made a playlist from all the National Lampoon movie soundtracks. (Holiday Road, anyone?). Hubby and I also had some great conversations during our drive – driving great distances, like running great distances, has a way of opening up and connecting hearts and minds. 

Here are our collection of “Welcome” State signs – I missed a few since we were driving as I was trying to snap a picture. Can you figure out which states we drove through that we don’t have a picture of?