Put Me in Your Diary

I will go to the one non-Halal butcher on the high street
for pork neck. If the younger man is behind the counter
he will say, what’s the occasion? Normally I shrug and smile
but this time I will say, a friend is coming for dinner.
(If it’s the older man then he won’t ask; he’ll just smile
at my smile.) I will stew the pork neck with potatoes
and peppers and a whole bulb of garlic. Coriander seeds.
Ground ginger. Paprika. Three chilies, dropped in whole.
I will not stint on the tomato puree. I will spoon in Marmite
and drop in lumps of frozen spinach at the last minute
because I still worry about your iron levels. When you arrive
the pork neck will have been in the oven for hours.
You will exclaim at the smell. While I sort the finishing touches
you will play your-paw my-paw your-paw with the cats.
I’ll pile the pork neck into bowls and we’ll curl our legs
under us on opposite sides of the sofa and love each other.

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