"Pairings" by Aidan Rooney

Aidan Rooney

Aidan Rooney

Aidan Rooney is a native of Monaghan, Ireland, resident in the U.S. since 1987. He lives in Hingham, Massachusetts, and teaches at Thayer Academy. He was awarded the Hennessy Literary Award for New Irish Poet in 1997 and the Daniel Varoujan Award from the New England Poetry Club in 2012. His collections, Day Release (2000) and Tightrope (2007) are published by The Gallery Press. New poems and translations from French and Haitian Creole have appeared recently in Cream City Review, The Shop, Mudlark, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Ireland Review.


On the way home I could hear the lobsters
feelering each other on the back seat,
nowhere near the pot yet but calling for
Meursault or Puligny-Montrachet,

and could see the razors and long-necks
riding shotgun in the bucket puncture
the surface tension with their syphons, screaming
for Muscadet or Sauvignon de Touraine.

The wall of Costa Rican pineapples
at the supermarket would not collapse
unless a Gris d’Alsace or late Gewurzt
got mentioned; the avocados, Sancerre.

Bananas go Barsac, and strawberries
roll to Rosenmuskateller, Haut-Adige;
the melons would expose themselves and drip
before a Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise.

Not a peep out of the asparagus,
last spring, until I pledged some Sauvignon;
tomatoes will not ripen on the vine
unless I walk the garden with Rosé,

Provençal or Corse; the cukes, Bear River
Riesling; fennell a Bellet; the courgette
keeps to itself its flowery cologne
a Pigato di Ligure alone can coax.

And so on, all summer long: arugula,
like a broken window, crying out for
Viognier; corn, Chablis; green beans, Sylvaner.
The rabbits that brunched on the broccoli

should know I like Faugères and the turkeys
parading tip-toe past the patio,
Christmas is coming, and I’ve been thinking
Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Blanc de Bourgogne.

And it doesn’t have to end going loco
on the cheeses: Tomme de Savoie, Savoie;
Feta, Patras; Banon, Bandol; Champagne
effervescing over Brillat-Savarin;

and Roquefort getting its rocks off on Mont-
bazillac. O, one can go over the top –
truffles, Pomerol; chocolate, Rivesalte
with such heaven-made pairings here on earth.