Gouda cheese (pronounced gow duh) is orange in color, made from cow’s milk, and is named after the town of Gouda in the Netherlands. It has a semi-hard texture and is sweet and sometimes crunchy. It takes from a few months to over seven years before it is aged and ready to eat. This cheese is made and sold all over the world.
Several years ago, a local restaurant advertised omelets, sandwiches, and other items made with Gouda cheese. Every morning during the local newscast, a radio station bombarded us with ads for these mouth watering concoctions. At the time, I was taking a poetry class, and one assignment was to write a poem containing certain items including the name of a hotel or restaurant, a celebrity’s name, articles of clothing, and a board game, to mention a few. Inspired by the radio ads, I wrote the following poem.
A Gouda Day for Jolene
The scene opens at The Country Kitchen in Sheridan.
Dolly Parton sits in a booth.
She barely touches her Gouda cheese omelet.
She’s wearing blue jeans
and a colorful western shirt that accents her bosom.
The sunlight from a nearby window sparkles in her blonde, frizzy hair.
Jolene sits across from her,
a non-descript woman with short dark hair,
wearing navy blue sweat pants and a white t-shirt.
She wolfs down her barbecued chicken sandwich,
also with Gouda cheese.
“I don’t know what my husband sees in you, honey,” says Dolly.
“You’re so plain.”
“Maybe it’s the fact that I’m always there for him,” says Jolene.
“I don’t travel around the country,
giving concerts, signing autographs, smiling at other men.”
“But that’s my work,” says Dolly.
“He knew that when he married me.
And why on Earth would he want to live in Wyoming of all places?
None of these towns are like L.A. or New York.”
“He likes my ranch,” answers Jolene.
“In the evening, we sit on the front porch,
drink coffee, play chess,
watch the sun go down.
It’s more romantic than some pent house in New York.
Did he tell you
we met at your concert in Denver last year?
When he complained of a headache,
told you he was going back to the Brown palace,
he was going there to be with me.”
“You slut!” says Dolly.
She rises, picks up her omelet,
flings it at Jolene, hurries out the door.
The camera zooms in on Jolene,
her face swathed in egg,
smoked bacon, tomato slices, and Gouda cheese.
This was recently published in Magnets and Ladders, an online magazine featuring stories, poems, and essays from such disabled writers as myself. Two other poems from my book were also published in this issue. As the radio ads said, have a Gouda day.