Saturday, November 27, 2010

November Poetry Challenge: 26/30: Soup

Yup, I made up a batch of soup from scratch today. My tummy is very happy, and it gave me the inspiration for poem #26 in my November challenge. I'm looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow. It should be even better then.


Some days
...ok, probably too many days...
I get by on drive through bags,
frozen dinners, take out
pizza, and restaurant offerings.
I'm in a hurry. Too tired.
Out with friends.
Feeling lazy, uninspired.
But while the grab and go
feeds the body,
every now and again
my soul
tells me it is high time
to slow down, and simmer
up a big pot
of simple peasant-fare soup.

Lets see...I'll need some liquid.
Reach into the freezer,
and pull out the zip lock bags
full of the picked over bones,
left over from those quick
grocery store roast chickens.
Into the stock pot, cover with water,
simmer a few hours, and strain.
And already, the house
smells like
a welcome home.
Something primal in me
straightens, sniffs,
and smiles.

A source of protein,
a batch of vegetables,
and some starch...
This is the fun part
as I scrounge around
the pantry and the refrigerator
for whatever strikes my fancy.
Lentils, the rest of the chicken.
Baby carrots, frozen corn,
dried mushrooms.
Noodles, rice,
dehydrated potato slices...
Ooh...that looks good.
Chop it up, add it to the mix.
And then a shake of Italian seasoning,
and a dash of white pepper,
a bit of rosemary,
and...hmm...this smells good.
Toss it in too.

And the longer it goes,
the richer the mix becomes
...and the more relaxed I get.
As my hands chop and stir,
I can feel my motions
echoing back through time.
How many women
in how many generations
have cared for the heart of their families
with a similar simmering pot?
Yes, I could buy a can of Campbell's.
It would be much faster.
But I'd miss this gentle magic
of creating rib sticking nourishment
out of bits of seeming nothing.

And then, with a quiet
happy sigh, I sit
down to the table
and ladle out my liquid comfort.
I add couple of thick crusty slices
of hot buttered french bread,
and some nice sharp cheddar cubes.
And steep a steaming mug of tea
for good measure.
And then just sit,
and sip,
and savor,
in a timeless moment
of quiet contentment.

Yes. I needed that.
Tomorrow, I can return
to my usual headlong dash.
But today,
I'm having

Melissa McCollum

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