tongue stuck out,
nose closed;
she always hated it,
and no matter what
we’d press and press,
forcing her to stomach
things she never wanted,
smelling that sourness,
those vinegar troubles
and tangy juice
covered in coercion;
we’d ask her time and time again
and never once did we respect her wishes.

Why must I consume? 
is it not enough to exist,
is that not enough consumption?
How greedy it is 
to expect me to take
more than I desire,
to force me to eat another
out of house and home.
That’s kind,
so very kind,
a sickly kind,
the sort of “kindness”
that destroys marriages,
uproots families and destroys psyches.
I’m not like that,
I don’t want to be controlled.

But we kept on shoveling
these aged, old traditions,
those nasty pickled ideas,
those greedy, grubby hands
of control over her,
and she could never let herself forgive.