Kale. Mum would say it was meant for the cattle.
We had moved from the suburbs out into the country. To walk through the woods, cuckoo woods, for the village for groceries was the way. By that lane a field of cabbage plants rotting, passed by holding breath, or holding nose.
I forever remember the smell, imagined the slime, the slugs.
If dusk was falling, and fear invoiveded, I ran quickly singing hymns loud for safety. Sadly it was not the lane that hurt me, it was someone else. Hymns don’t work in my case.
One time we swung the shopping basket between us. Lost most of the potatoes, and were sent back to find them.
Nothing was packaged, left loose in the basket weighed by the pound.
Kale was curly and cheap; we shredded it from the stump for boiling.
By now it is more acceptable, even fashionable, already chopped, stump bits intact and probably good for us. Yet I miss the whole leaf, where the memory formed.
No more do we boil it, softly warmed and stirred with butter and scattering of pink salt.
Slightly addicted these days, is it the taste of the memory that holds me?
Each day the good feeling is slightly spoiled on throwing the unnecessary packaging away, damp cellophane bag. I miss Mum’s basket, yet I do not miss the cabbage field.