Sustenance

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Soup smells waft in on me, your zeal

for this mixture again on display.  Covertly I watched

as you sliced deftly through pungent bulbs,

                                                            chopped

into creamy lobes of garlic, reduced tubers to tiny bricks

while the pillaged carcass waited in the fridge,

never your style to waste, since your mother's dismay

when you returned from Ireland, a chubby child made

waif from food you found unpalatable.  Yet, even as your

                                                                 onions grizzled

on the hob I couldn't resist the Jewish mother jibe, a cliched dig

at your identity, enough to rile your Celtic tendrils

                                                                  firmly attached

to those old Irish folk songs you belt out thickly

rat arsed on St Patrick's night.  The broth simmers, strengthens

                                                                                    with dots

of swelling barley; the aroma streaming from the pot

embraces me, completion hours away,

its creation leaving mayhem in the kitchen,

sink piled high with your aftermath, pans

                                                     haphazardly

stacked on plates, and your favourite knife, scalpel sharp, which

you used to gouge out the last meat scrapings.

                                                      A misted ridge

of droplets steams the windows, as the pot bubbles

                                                                      on the edge

of the cooker like a witch's cauldron.  remember that tarot

reader who visited us in '72, predicted that the magic of our match

would last, a recipe from heaven.  We were just embryos of ourselves,

                                                                                           lived for the day,

immersed in each other, old age a grey fog on the horizon

before our colours faded and the aching joints kicked

in, before our skins dappled with the tell tale speckled

flecks of ripening decay.  Drawn to the brew, you stir, cup

                                              the ladle to your lips, nod and wedge

the lid tightly, satisfaction softening your eyes, while a sliver

                                                                        of guilt pierces me as I laze,

sifting through memories, glitches and triumphs, not

merely remants of a shared existence.  Is it the way

you make soup that makes me want to touch

 

you, stroke the fine hairs on your arm, caress the pouch

of your jowls?  Later you bring bowls, fill them with chicken

soup, serve mine up on a tray

with hunks of bread, like an offering, as if it were

                                                                    your privilege

to feed me.  We sip its nourishment together, silently,

                                                               the ritual of hot

liquid a bonding of two soup zealots.

Tomorrow, we'll switch roles.  Maybe I'll serve kedgeree,

while you sit back, watch football or potter

in the garden, separating and trimming off the rhizomes.

◄ A Wolf In His Head

Too Fat ►

Comments

<Deleted User> (5984)

Wed 11th Jun 2008 20:26

We were just embryos of ourselves lived for the day...

Sandre, this is one of the best lines in a poem I have heard in a long time. The whole poem is delicious, but stanza endings are just superb.

delicious

Mel
x

<Deleted User> (3509)

Tue 3rd Jun 2008 22:45

You know I love this site and all you readers.

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Jeff Dawson

Tue 3rd Jun 2008 21:57

Hi Sandre, never knew soup could be so exciting!! Wonderfully described, will have to call in for a bowl! Cheers, good to see you at Wigan last week, Jeff

<Deleted User> (5646)

Tue 3rd Jun 2008 20:34

Hi Sandre, remember me? I'm the one who held your hand and told you about Stonehenge and mixed the runes. It was flowing very nicely when we were interrupted because it was half time. Time for the show to start again.
Love the poem. My alphabet soup is still swimming around with a huge question mark in the middle. Nice to see you in wol.x

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