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Eggplant Bridge – Joan Leotta

Most of the supermarket checkers

see the long, oval,  purple “thing”

in my basket and ask,

“What do you do with that?”

I laud eggplant’s virtues

grilled, fried, in sauce

as they dutifully pass my more

prosaic items over the check screen.

But on my next visit they usually admit

“Never took one home to try it.”


Last week, a new checker,

by nametag, Preeti

asked how I prepared eggplant.

Adding a comment to her question

“It’s my favorite food.”

I described fried eggplant sandwiches.

She responded with a smile by

describing roasted eggplant

with curry served over rice.


The following week I was again in her line.

She smiled. “I tried eggplant your way. It was good.”

I replied. “We loved your recipe!”

Tomorrow, my new friend and

her husband are coming to dinner.

I will serve eggplant made two ways.


Joan Leotta plays with words on page and stage. Her poems, essays, and articles have been published or are forthcoming in Visual Verse, Verse Virtual, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, Pine Song, Potato Soup, Eastern Iowa Review, Mystery Tribune, and others. She’s been a Tupelo 30/30 writer and Gilbert Chappell Fellow. Her short stories are in Mystery Tribune and other journals. She performs personal and folk tales featuring food, family, and strong women.

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