When I was a young girl

growing up in the San Fernando Valley

I looked forward to Spam.

This canned, precooked meat

is something I learned to enjoy

in my youth, when boiled meat

was at the height of its popularity.

Loved seeing that bright blue can

sitting out on the counter

just waiting to be pried opened,

with that strange, sucking sound.

Jellied, cold, boiled meat 

would get my taste buds energized. 

Sometimes, I’d run into the 

living room and turn up my favorite music

after I saw the Spam grease

spattering out from the skillet.

Most foods didn’t have the distinct flavor of Spam.

They didn’t come close to the watery scent of

crackling ham byproducts.

We had other gourmet delights like liver, 

rhubarb and beef tongue,

but my favorite was always Spam.

When Dad grilled steak on the barbecue

or picked up a smelly piece of fish at the market

I just about gagged.

After all of these years, I still look forward to this unique delight. 

I look forward to popping it in the pan and frying it up

until it’s crisp and dripping with grease.

Spam tastes like heaven on earth, anytime of day or night.

Marsha Johansen lives in Albuquerque, NM and holds a Bachelors in Business Management. Her collection of poems called “Around the Edges” was published in 2018. Both her prose and poems appear in The New York Times Magazine, Daily Drunk Mag,, SadGirlsClub and the New Mexico Poetry Society Chapbook.

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