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Tuesday, February 21, 2012


by Wendy Taylor Carlisle
                              People take the little
                              They know to make a marvelous stew  --David St. John

Once science was dead, the little we knew was leeks,
celery, potatoes, onions, turnips, peppers, carrots,
had only a small portion of  the old substantial meat,
then easily cut up and struck dumb by hot water.  What

we boiled from that exuded its constituent scents,
lost firmness, gained a gummy consistency,
a weightiness we poured out for family and friends,
to satisfy our empty appetites, the greed of visitors.

A stew like this ignores all previous kitchen physics,
may be thick as blood or as thin as a second cousin,
only suggests sweetness when Paul Revere’s horse
is tossed in or when we add ethanol, call it a bisque.

The stew we make then simmers the tag ends of wise potage,
heats to rot the iron fact, boils gospel to compost.

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of two books of poetry and two chapbooks.