‘A taste of the bloom’: Food and Memory Poems

A discussion of food and memory began our class in preparation to study Gary Soto’s Narrative Style poem, Oranges. Nostalgia and feelings came up a lot in our talks. What emotions are attached to memory and food? Why? Do memories change as time goes by? How?  After reading the poem, students made short performances based on the text.  Below are some examples of students’ work.

Lesson Note: To have students physicalize the poem, is to place it in muscle memory. Often at the end of a residency, ‘Oranges’ is the poem remembered most. Writer Maya Lang has it right when she says:” [Writers] are in an improv skit that never ends.”

Ms. Hooper, 6th Grade

The Mexican restaurant
By Isaiah V.

Bright blue sky we hungry so we
Drove to the best mexican restaurant
I would smell the meat cooking on the stove
The smell of the drinks
I went straight to the cashier and i said
Can i get torta and horchata
I could hear the meat sizzling on the stove waiting for my food
Then i heard Torta and horchata
I knew it was mine i walked over there
Got my food and walked to my table
Then I ate it.

Shirley temples
By: Liv H.

Heading upstairs,the smell of cherry takes over the house.
I set out four nice glasses, and pour the light fizzy red liquid into each cup.
The drink is not done without the bright red cherries.
They appear as bright fireballs twirling around the bottom of the cup.
The special day is ready to happen.
The table is set,the food is ready, and the drinks are made.

Ms. Walsh, 6th Grade

By Christopher V.

I woke up one day knowing that we had to go to a party
So I got ready and after that I went to the kitchen to go eat.
When I entered the kitchen it smelled so good I didn’t know
What was that smell, I looked and I saw my mom making
The delicious food I asked her what they are she said ¨They are
Called Tamales.¨ I said ¨Tamales?¨ I couldn’t wait to eat them at
The party. When we got there I was so excited to eat, my mom asked
Me what I wanted to eat I said ¨Tamales!¨ When I got my plate my mouth
Started drooling. I took a bite and it tasted like heaven in my mouth.
It was so good.

By Lucille R.

I remember the first time
I had perogies
November 24, thanksgiving
We were having ukrainian food
Because i´m ukrainian

My favorite dish
The yellow white cushion
Filled with potatoes and cheese
A delicacy in my mind

Tea and a Bike Ride
By Harper D.

It was a warm day in April
Me and my friends were on a bike ride
One of their bikes would not work
We tried to fix the bike but we could not figure it out

A nice man decided to help us
Within seconds the bike was fixed

We went on riding in the warm breeze
To get boba tea

We got to the shop
We whipped off our hands
And ordered our tea

I got a taro milk tea which had a mystical purple color
My friend got a bright pink strawberry milk tea

Everytime i have that tea
I am brought back to that moment
In time

Ms. Collins, 6th Grade

By Ainsley D.

I walked up the stairs,
Feeling the soft cushion of the rug,
Then, the cool tile floor.
I knew what she was going to say
even before she said it,
“Want some pancakes?”
Of course I said yes,
I always do.

I watch as she moves around the kitchen,
Watch as she mixes,
Then makes a perfect circle with the batter
She tells me to sit down,
So I do
With her back to me,
We talk about what we’ll do.
She flips the perfect circle
My mouth waters,
I can taste the golden color now.
She brings it over
I take a bite and it’s still warm,
Just as I suspected it to be.

I don’t get pancakes anymore,
They were a thing of the past,
But I still remember the golden color,
Of that perfect pancake,
There is nothing else like it.
Her love was in that pancake,
And that made it taste like flowers,
and blue sky
Everything that makes someone happy

By nicholas p.

A taste of the bloom

It was a hot day
I was siting
In my circle
It was in my summer camp
I was hungry
I asked my friends if there were they said
We asked are teacher
He gave us a bag
Inside it had pansy
My friends ate it
Till i saw it
It was a flower
I asked
“Is this poisen ‘’
No its pansy he replied
I didnt trust him
Though out the day till noon
I saw my friends were oke
So i asked him for
I ate it



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.