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, PoetryLovers.com, SadGirlsClub and the New Mexico Poetry Society Chapbook.