Let's say you lost your bearings, made a grievous error in judgment, sold fresh cow's milk to a neighbor in North Carolina, and found yourself cast in the real time version of "Dead Man Walking." What would you request for your last meal?
I would go for a loaf of Farm and Sparrow peasant bread, dense and chewy center, crust dark and laden with seeds; a bowl of soft Spring butter from my friend Kathy's cowgirl Hope; a palm of coarse Himalayan sea salt; a salad of peppery arugula dressed with lime and olive oil; a bulb of Jill Klosterman's garlic, squeezable and roasted; four squares of rich, Fair Trade dark chocolate - 77% or better; and a bottle of vintage Bertani Amarone.
What's your last meal?
Last Meal, by Bill Holm
On death row you celebrate your last night
with your last dinner, your choice, your last craving
to make at least your stomach happy before it stops
craving anything at all. Many choose
simple food: a hamburger, mac and cheese, ice cream.
What might it be for you, my friend?
Duckling Rouenaisse? A roast of unborn lamb?
Washed down with Veuve Cliquot '59 and old Armagnac?
And how do you know, my friend, that you are not
eating your last meal at this very table now?
Chew slowly. Make sure you take in all the body and the blood.
"Last Meal" by Bill Holm, from The Chain Letter of the Soul: New & Selected Poems. © Milkweed Editions, 2009.