Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Famous . . .

I’m at the deli, entranced:
Whitefish salad, herring in cream,
chopped liver, knishes and fishes
smoked, kippered or Nova.

It’s crowded, the aisles too narrow;
behind the counter, five men in
white aprons: Who’s next?
Who wants salty black olives,
rye bread, seeded or plain,
Swiss cheese or American,
corned beef or fresh chicken.
Try the home-made coleslaw.
You won’t regret it.
The tomatoes, field corn still tasseled.
You wanted what, sweetie?

Ah, a litany of tastes:
Life could be simpler:
Whitefish salad on fresh rye, to go.

Yesterday we stopped at Famous, the only deli in Northeast Philadelphia I know. Famous IS famous in Philadelphia. It's always crowded, and no matter how many years pass, unchanged. I'm without internet for these three weeks in Philadelphia, and for some reason, the unseasonable heat means that even internet at the nearby coffee shop is tempermental.


  1. I'm so hungry after reading this, not a deli to be found near the cottage. I will have to wait until I get into the city one of these days.

  2. You've captured the atmosphere perfectly. The mouth-watering look and scents, leading to anticipated texture and taste. ;)