Oh Cilantro, most benign of herbs,
why do so many despise you?
Even Rosemary, with her piney sharpness,
doesn’t endure such scorn.
And Thyme, with all his pungency,
fields little grief.
Meanwhile Sage, exuding bitterness,
rarely invokes a complaint.
And of course,
everyone loves that Sweet Basil.
While your cousin Parsley, with all its curls,
is invited to every party!
But you, Cilantro,
who chefs casually toss onto tacos and stir-fries,
ignite the scorn of even Julia Child,
who claimed she would pluck you from a dish
and cast you to the floor.
Cilantrophobes say you taste like soap,
but if they could only give you a chance,
let their minds rewire to accept you,
they might savor your humility.
A bit sweet and quite earthy,
you bring flavors together
with no need to stand out,
or scream across a plate.
Like the one who holds open the door
for all to pass in before her,
you offer subtle strength,
while adding a touch of green
and a little zing.