I don’t want to drive to the city,
march with thousands,
listen to speeches,
hold a cardboard sign,
be on one side or another,
feel deep despair,
I just want to make a huge pot of soup
on this drizzly day in the mountains.
dark green flags and bone-white ribs of chard,
Sweet skinny crimson peppers,
a quart of last year’s tomatoes,
fat cannelini beans, onions,
garlic waiting in the basket on the shelf.
Broth from bones,
three homemade sausages,
leftover tortellini the children couldn’t finish,
Rose Gold potatoes, tiny broccoli buds,
the last of the season’s zucchini.
Steamy soup perfume rises
above the deep aroma of
cornbread in the oven.
When it’s done,
I walk some over to my Buddhist car mechanic
lying under somebody’s old Mercury.
His wife is in the kitchen leaning on the sink,
she’s sick with something that will someday eat her up.
I save some for my son,
driving home from his construction job.
It’s his night to cook, so lucky him.
He can take it home to his pregnant wife
who’s worked all day with cranky children.
I offer soup to my daughter, who looks in
while the baby is sleeping,
then sends her seven year old
back across the garden to fill her bowl a second time.
You never know what she is going to like.
Sometimes she doesn’t want things all mixed together.
But she liked my autumn soup.
Maybe she can taste all the love in it.