MAKING SOUP

Written by: Sidney Beck

Always cold in the morning, this kitchen is warmed now
With a roaring fire and my wife working beside me making just desserts
We stand here two hours this afternoon doing one of our projects
Cooking soup and fish for this evening’s xmas party of friends. 

The ghetto, the Projects, contained me with the music of 
The school’s leather belt and cane.  And then 
Parents lost in a fire. 
              That was a tough xmas, alcohol boozy flavored in an
              Empty-bottle kitchen, crowded and smoky.
It was a tough meat just cut today red blooded, now pale in the friends’ 
Xmas gift, the tureen shiny clean. The soup’s              
Alcohol flavored in effort to disguise taste of the firm onion, now soft slop. Next, must
Empty bottle of sauce in …add spice…Oh, now chop more veg: and the 
Kitchen knife peels and reveals their secret inner fleshes,
Crowded and jostling with juicy tomatoes, now reduced to wrinkled skins; and
Smoky, tall, erect celery now chopped into mini-sets of false teeth

Innocence lost in the poisonous smog of Dublin’s
Orphanage hymns and anthems: God and the state will help
Uniformed religious staff and teachers to tell me 
I do not belong - I must reveal no secrets about being
Woken, shaken out of bed, taken (with no word spoken) from the 
               Cold dormitory, scaly hand on my knee:
               Drown in this grasp -  fish out of water
Cold.  A small shivering fish caught in net, taken now from its fridge 
Dormitory for this sacrifice: staring, unfeeling, cold-blooded creature, its
Scaly skin shining on my cutting plate.
Hand on knee, I sit down to gut it, gills first - which made him
Drown as he struggled in the tightened net; and 
In this grasp I cut the fish open - an old  
Fish which was still feeling
Out of water. It seems a silly, scaled creature now, lifeless, staring at nothing.

I lost my loneliness from that hostile world:
She gave me peace and serenity  -
Warm feelings of belonging ; and it’s
Christmas every day. 
                 She is sweet, inviting, colorful, and around her
                 Melt-in-the-mouth music plays.
She is the essence of sugar,
Sweet free-running chocolate,
Inviting me to dissolve all of her creamy meringue shells 
Colorful and delightful, which will swirl
Around her taste  and 
Melt like love on a summer’s day.
In the mouth of my hell, she has uttered  
Music, and forever now,  it
Plays sweetly.

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Written for and entered in Debbie Guzzi’s  Contest     GET SERIOUS