Naemi Burtch

1927 - 1977

For many years my mother worked for the the local paper, the Los Gatos Times Observer, contributing occasional light verse to its pages. This example was inspired by the annual local Wine Festival, an event that the town's merchants hoped would achieve a sort of regional toniness. The Silicon Valley boom eventually put Los Gatos well on the other side of nouveau riche yuppiedom; and so the notion of its wine festival displaying pretentiousness is, sadly, a little quaint. But the poem itself is quite good.

Mom on Boat

Bacchus in Suburbia

Come, let us savor one small part
Of the vintner's noble art.
A thimbleful is de riguer;
More simply shrieks that you're
A toper, not a connoisseur.

Appear quite bored, appear blasé;
Enthusiasts are declassé.
Just speak of color and of "nose";
Assume a weary, languid pose.

Observe, I take this modest white,
And hold it, frowning, to the light.
Then twirl it in my palms and say
Something such as "nice bouquet."

Then, slowly . . . there's no need for haste . . .
I lift the glass to sip my taste.
And . . . say -- this has a lot of class!
Don't be so stingy . . . fill that glass!

Mom at 19

(c) Naemi Burtch. Please Don't Duplicate w/o Permission. Thanks.