My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow
– ‘To His Coy Mistress’, Andrew Marvell
When he wrote ‘my vegetable love’
I bet he envisioned his prize marrow,
putting it in her lap
and watching it grow,
like the giant turnip in the tale,
the bigger it gets, the more it’s portioned,
but what’s the point of big
if a lady has to share?
I know you’d rather a little turnip
than a nip of someone else’s care.
The vegetable love can sow
many a field.
It can grow
into multitudinous beauties.
Empires can bow
to a patchwork love.
But my agricultural heart
has but one seed
and but one need
I endeavour to feed,
and I’m not in love with a cabbage.
Today someone called you a vegetable, my love.
He lies in vegetation somewhere,
eyes blooming a rich aubergine.
I thought, vegetable love, vegetable love,
save me from this anecdotal wanderlust.
Dearest Catatonia, say but a word
and all the vegetables you want I’ll grow.
Rise, say but ‘marrow’
and marry, I will.
Illustrator: Mariam Hayat