Friday, December 18, 2015

Stock, Celery, Carrots

For the soup--
stock, celery, carrots.
What of the egg, the seed, your hand in mine
last winter, or the one before?

The chicken, the garden, the blackberry summer
never knew what hit them--
Look now and you won't find a damn thing.

I stir stock, celery, carrots--
the pot steams my windows til I'm blind.

Still, I go through the motions, because that's the expected thing.
I don't even feel the bowls in my hand--
I have no appetite at all, and yet I am the Mistress of Delicious Things

Consumed by others and praised
until they set their wet spoons down to stain the cloth.

A bitchy little number for Kerry's challenge about time, at Real Toads.


cosmos cami said...

I loved the repetition of stock celery carrots. I was there in the steamy kitchen of comfort but your powerful presence was there too. Very relatable, all of it.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I was surprised by the description of this as a 'bitchy number' because i didn't pick that up in my reading. I clearly felt the shift in time between then and now, and somehow the soup reminded me of gritty European revolutions a century ago.. the narrator seems to belong to another time and finds herself in this less than enchanting era.

Fireblossom said...

Kerry, I love your take!

Anonymous said...

I read it as being very sorrowful, about a woman losing her mother. Mommies make chicken soup for their sick little ones. Now you're a grown-up, making soup for others. I'm wondering if the speaker's mother is sick and dying and probably can't actually eat the soup or be "present" mentally. Or maybe the speaker has already lost her mother and is taking care of her own family now, but she has to drag herself through every motion because she's so worn out, physically and emotionally. Just completely drained. She needs her mommy. (At least, I need my mommy, and she's a thousand miles away and basically incapacitated.

I love this: "I am the Mistress of Delicious Things"

hedgewitch said...

How the blackberry summer comes back to leave such a bitter taste on the tongue--like Kerry, I also felt more acceptance of a changing reality, more settling into a new life, than bitchiness--though who doesn't want to slap the bejesus out of the person who neither understands nor cares how hard it is to get those stains out of the tablecloth. It's as always, an amazing joy to see what you can cook up from the simplest of basic ingredients.

brudberg said...

How lonely it can be in front of the stove "a mistress of delicious things" and all the thank is those stains on the linen.. Maybe mix some eyes of newt with the celery?

TexWisGirl said...

i agree with the pin-up vamp on your side-bar. you are awesome.

Sioux said...

I'm with Kerry and Hedgewitch--I detected no bitchiness, and usually I can pick up any whiff of that, since I can really dole it out. ;)

Interesting movie topic... interesting poem...

Helen said...

I believe she is sick and tired of never ending responsibility and yes, I do feel a bit of bitchiness in your poem. And I love it.

Mama Zen said...

To beautifully done to straight out bitchy. More bitter with an elegant side of fuck you.

Rommy said...

Note perfect. I like the repetition; it feels like a mantra for patience when you really want to scream instead. And the idea of food tying the past to the present is wonderful here. So many memories are made over meals.

Ostensible Truth said...

ah I so like this, and echo the above - more despondent than bitchy, though with a good dose of sass - a kind of mix between angry and disappointed. You have a sharpness to your voice, a skilled matter of factness which calls Bishop or Dickinson to mind... great great stuff here