Winter 2006-7

Stanley Barkan


A kosher pickle
is a cucumber with taam.
Eaten with roast chicken
or Romanian tenderloin steak,
preferably with corned beef
or pastrami on club bread
--ah, that was my ambrosia.
The pickle store on Blake Avenue
was my Paradise in Brooklyn.
It lured me by the nose,
wafted such sweet scents
through childhood's summer air,
I was transported out of
the crush and chaos of pushcarts
and burnt odor of flicked chicken feathers.
The walls of the pickle place
were covered with calendar girls,
but it was the brine in the barrels
that drew me to their salty pleasures.
No toilet water or perfume
could compare with that aroma.
In the East New York of my childhood,
kosher pickles were my garden of roses,
my eau de Cologne, my Deli No. 5.




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