Ernest Hemingway burgers are as complicated as he was.

The recipe, from some travel magazine,

details a robust, thick, manly burger.

You’d think it was made of exotic meat—


cape, water, or even yak.

But, no.

No, just ordinary cow

like you or I might choose.

Not Kobe beef, or Brahma calf,

not veal or some other delicacy.

Ah, but the flavors, the spices,

as bohemian as the places you’d imagine him in.

Capers, sage, wine,

Indian relish, Mei Yen powders,

fancy French-sounding dressing,

egg, garlic and green onions,

more like a masala meatloaf than a burger.

What makes this burger so manly?

Is it the thickness, the boldness of seasonings?

Capers are flower buds brined to perfection,

quite feminine, I think;

sage leaf also a tasty plant,

but not so specifically masculine.

It’s odd, I think, to assign gender to food

because of one person’s palate.

2015 copyright by Katie Pifer available at

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