Two Poems by Elaine Sorrentino

A Moment of Silence for the Salad Bar

Curtains to the possibility
of sesame cabbage salad
and tapioca pudding
forging a friendship
in the same takeout container,

Adios to sidling up to the bar,
elbowing my w​ay 
to the last pickled beet
among the vinegary cornucopia;

the heavy-weight champion
of abundant choices
as appealing as hitching a ride,
putting Noxema on a sunburn,
or helmet-free biking,

even the sexy plexi
has repurposed itself since 2020,
now guarding teenage cashiers,
instead of red bell peppers,
from sneezers and viruses.

I miss sneaky side glances,
pretending I’m not eyeing
the tempting veggie-protein combo
composed by the stranger beside me
with a thrill-seeking palate;

Goodbye to eight different lettuces,
the thrill of topping tuna salad
with pickles and sunflower seeds,
and daring to pluck tomatoes
and red onion with the same tongs.


My hands, my hands
my blessing hands
caressing hands
finessing hands,
my hands, made for undressing hands;
gentle, unafraid.

My hands, my hands
my kneading hands
my pleading hands
my feeding hands,
my hands, my interceding hands;
passionate and sure.

My hands, my hands
my guiding hands
deciding hands
delighting hands,
my fashioned-for-providing hands;
grateful for their breadth.

My hands, my hands,
my shielding hands
my healing hands
unyielding hands
they never will be wielding hands;
they have drawn the line.

Elaine Sorrentino, Communications Director at South Shore Conservatory in Hingham, MA, has been published in Minerva RisingWillawaw Journal, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Ekphrastic Review, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, Global Poemic, ONE ART: a journal of poetry, The Door is a Jar, Agape ReviewHaiku Universe, The Writers Magazine, and

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