“Gwnech y pethau bychain mewn bywyd” (Do ye the little things in life) St. David
To and fro spin yellow and green,
his fingers twirling the daffodil.
Over his half-moon glasses,
his eyes stare directly into mine.
From a wry smile come the words:
“A true Welshman, wouldn’t just
carry the leek, he’d eat it – raw!”
His commanding Welsh voice informs,
he’s my form tutor, my authority figure,
every year on St. David’s Day
I give him a daffodil for his desk.
I’m twelve, and my father was Welsh!
A leek: one of the most seemingly benign of onions…
In a leek and potato soup it adds a pale
hue of lime, and is mild and sweet to the taste.
But raw, it is sharp, bitter, and bites the lips.
When cooked, the layers fall harmlessly apart,
rings garnishing meals with greenish gradients.
Raw, it is tough, unyielding, brings tears to the eyes,
and does everything but melt on the tongue.
But I’m twelve, and my father was Welsh!
I resort to nibbling throughout the day,
a little here, a little there, followed up
with lip balm for my stinging lips.
No time for eating a proper meal,
this leek has to be devoured.
End of the day, the leek’s a short stump,
my belly is both hungry and sore.
I go to bed feeling nauseous –
Still, I’m twelve, and my father was Welsh!
Epilogue: St. Patrick’s Day
I arose the next day ashen faced,
and somewhat greenish.
Leeks were in season all month,
the sight of which ensured
I was still green for March 17th.