Roasting Vegetables

by Donna Isaac

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Turns out, Brussels sprouts did originate in Brussels.
Belgium also lays claim to French fries,
despite France's protestations,
spas, casinos, tulips, oil painting, the saxophone,
intricate lace, and Tintin. It is home to fine chocolate and beer.

Once, briefly in Bruges, I sampled crispy fries
served with mayo and tried waffles with whipped cream.
I remember castles, rocky walls, cold rain.

Tine Nys can no longer remember, taste, or see
Belgium, which allows euthanasia for the terminally ill
or for those deemed in psychiatric distress like
Tine who was autistic, non-verbal.

Two doctors let her father hold
a needle in place for her fatal injection,
the family invited to listen to her heart           go still.

Somewhere in Belgium, people sip Duvel in heavy mugs
or taste the melt of Godiva truffles on their tongues.
Others decide life or death,
in Flanders, specifically, where poppies still grow.


end of story

© 2019, Donna Isaac

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