Broccoli wasn’t invented when I was a boy
its cauliflower brain cells
as dark as cabbage
and yet I saw an apparition
in the garden nursery
when all the soil was empty
except for winter cabbages and leeks.
It was the not-yet-invented vegetable
and yet no one I knew
knew it was edible.
It was the ghost of things to come
lurking in their minds
until some future cook-psychologists
could auto-suggest it
and others sell it
in their supermarkets
next to asparagus and sweet potato.
From Fabric No 4 (November 2002)