Achar

by Upma Kapoor

She marinates

                    her white radishes with clear, saline vinegar.
                    They share a decadent shortening with the relish. 

Her elderly rectitude,

                    her worn hands, age the small fruits and vegetables.
                    She slices each plant into artifact: ferments each

in sublime

                    sesame to become another everyday staple. Similar
                    to her mango pickle, she says gooseberry is tradition.

Her rite follows—

                    Vegetables do not have to dry or be tender, but preserve—
                    “We make achar for all meals, for all hands.”

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