A teenager abroad for the first time
sits down to a little delicacy
from the sixteenth century,
the era of religious wars.
On her plate, bones of a small bird
attracted by multicoloured glass
and netted in the Gatinais,
where Jeanne d’Arc ventured out.
She learns the recipe: eight larks,
eight ounces of bloated livers
from force-fed geese, stock
from a boiled chicken, her egg.
Marinate larks in port, thyme, bay.
Next morning, rise with the lark
to prepare the day’s specialité.
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees.
Stir-fry the tiny organs and intestines
of your larks, crush them, incorporate
with shallots and breadcrumbs
in chicken stock. Stuff body cavities
modestly with truffled foie gras.
Make a pastry bed, bury larks
inside the stuffing. Top off with crust.
Seal. Brush with egg, bake for an hour.
Best served cold
with a little wine
and a baton.
Sharon Larkin has been published in anthologies, journals and ezines,
including May Day (Cinnamon), Heart Shoots and Reach (Indigo Dreams), Here Comes Everyone (Silhouette), Parenting (Mothers Milk) and Fit to Work – Poets against Atos. With a passion for Welsh language and literature, she has also translated Eisteddfod poems into English, reviewed A Life of Guto’r Glyn by E A Rees (y Lolfa) for Iota magazine and taught Welsh for Adult classes for Coleg Gwent. Sharon is chair of Cheltenham Poetry Society, running workshops, writing groups, retreats, readings and recitals throughout the year. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Gloucestershire. http://sharonlarkin.blogspot.co.uk