Incremental Poetry ~ 83 Lines

Let me read it to you…

“Popcorn” by Abigail Gronway


Some folks prefer to cook it on the stove,
where they may add their choice of oil and spice:
a healthier alternative, by Jove,
this home-made manna tastes so very nice!
But there are also those who don’t think twice
of microwaving pouches—screw the pot.
They’d rather use a modern-day device.
The smell of popcorn, fresh and piping hot,
from stove or not, evokes a hunger often sought.

I’ll not divulge which method I prefer,
though equally they both have served me well.
When I’ve the inclination, I concur
that cooking on the stove’s an easy sell;
and after years of practice, I excel
at popping nearly every kernel there.
I breathe it in—there is no parallel
to the smell of popcorn hanging in the air,
or cooked or nuked, ascending almost like a prayer.

Our after-dinner go-to is TV.
While winding down, we watch an episode
or two and snuggle close on brown settee:
a simple way to loosen long day’s load.
Sometimes we find ourselves in movie mode,
to feed romance, or chase away some gloom.
But first I cause some kernels to explode—
the smell of popcorn permeates the room
and sets the mood, once salt and butter are bestrewn.

But sometimes salt and butter just won’t do.
I like to be creative—have no doubt.
And so, I cook in bacon grease. Do you?
Variety’s the spice that life’s about.
To bring my feisty inner tiger out,
I rather like it sprinkled with cayenne;
and oh, it makes me want to twist and shout!
The smell of popcorn wafting from the den
induces kids, tucked in their rooms, to come again.

On other days, when I for popcorn pine,
my taste for salt succumbs to that for sweet.
My daughter, without fail, will come and dine
when once she learns I’m prepping for a treat.
We skip the salt, then sugar-store deplete;
the corn is done when chocolate-embossed.
I’m telling you, this way it can’t be beat.
The smell of popcorn, salt-and-butter-tossed
is really nice, but popped dessert—now, that’s the boss!

The weekend comes: I’m happy to announce,
“It’s time for popcorn and a movie!” “Yay!”
The children all come running in to pounce
upon the bowl filled for their matinee.
To them it’s like a weekly holiday;
to me, there’s nothing equal to the sight
of happy youngsters at a small soiree.
The smell of popcorn on a Friday night,
it seems to me, is proper, and it just feels right.

How well do I remember, in my youth,
my sailor-dad ate popcorn by the pound.
He loved the stuff! I’m telling you the truth.
And as ridiculous as it may sound,
his passion for the food was quite profound,
especially when sprinkled with some cheese;
‘til empty, we’d all pass the bowl around.
The smell of popcorn brings back memories
of days gone by, when Dad was home from overseas.

This simple snack can unforgiving be
if left too long on stove or microwave.
A couple toasted kernels, you’ll agree,
is all it takes—the rest you cannot save.
And if you should commit this error grave,
Ignominy with all you will have earned;
the scent won’t be dismissed with but a wave.
The smell of popcorn when it has been burned—
O wretched thought!—can kill the mood and stomach turn.

I’ve made a point to share a few good ways
that you may with this simple treat endow
some special zest that’s sure to bring you praise.
My simple tale is done: it’s your turn now
to make a difference. No matter how
you change it up, you’ll find you can’t go wrong;
I promise you they’ll always raise a brow.
The smell of popcorn often makes me long
to stop the clock, this kin-togetherness prolong.

If you can judge good popcorn by the smell,
then you should know there is no parallel.

Copyright © 2021 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved

Welcome to my series, Incremental Poetry, where each week the featured poem will be one line longer than the one I share the week before. I have no idea how long I’ll keep this up, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Thank you for stopping by.

Spenserian Stanza with Heroic Couplet
(a series of 9 Spenserian Stanzas followed by a single Heroic Couplet, totaling 83 lines)

Spenserian Stanza
Eight lines of iambic pentameter followed by a ninth line of iambic hexameter.
Usually in the last line, there is a caesura (pause) after the third syllable. In this case, I placed the pause after the fourth syllable.
Rhyme scheme: ababbcbcc dedeefeff, etc.
Syllabic structure: 10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10-12

Heroic Couplet
a closed two-line rhymed stanza written in iambic pentameter

About the poem: We really do love popcorn in our family, yours truly especially. And, yes, I love to cook it on the stove and could easily eat the entire kettle-full myself, if no one else is in the mood for it. I’ve even been known to pop a second batch. Our all-time favorite flavor is mineral salt and bacon grease; but for a close second, we pop the kernels in butter, sprinkle with stevia (or sugar), then drizzle on both melted dark and white chocolate.

Photo courtesy of JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

2 Replies to “Incremental Poetry ~ 83 Lines”

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