Pie #317

Jul 12, 2019

Today’s poem is “Pie #317" by Rebecca Irene. She recently received her MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work is published in Burningword Literary Journal, Amaryllis, Balancing Act 2 and elsewhere. She lives in Portland, where she supports her word-addiction by waitressing.

She says, “I wrote the first draft of this poem years ago—when a friend gushed over Bruce Springsteen’s concert, and then mentioned “The Boss” went to Denny’s after the show because he was hungry, and where else can you eat in Portland at 2 am? Later that month, I took my annual trek to Moosehead Lake, where I’ve spent time since I was seven. Walking the lumber roads, and picking raspberries for a pie, I recalled the taste of that cursed stinkbug. My poems constantly surprise me—the ways they collide presumably unconnected trains of thought. Also, #317 was my best estimate!”

Pie # 317
by Rebecca Irene

The raspberries smell of regret, maybe
because when I was nine, I plucked one
from a swollen bush & ended up chewing

on a stinkbug. Expecting one thing,
experiencing another, so why can’t I just
get over it? My raspberry pie is delicious

almost every time. Some of my friends
won’t eat confections any more— muffin-top
concerns, cholesterol anxieties. This causes

me pain in irrational ways, the same ways
I’m depressed when neither of my kids knows
who Springsteen is. He ate alone, at the Denny’s

downtown, last night, after his concert. No one
recognized him there either— probably a great relief.
The trick to a terrific pie is simple: don’t overthink it.

Poem copyright © 2018 Rebecca Irene. Reprinted from Balancing Act II, Littoral Press, 2018, by permission of Rebecca Irene.