Simmer

“…To thee the spring will be a harvest-time.” ~ John Keats, “What the Thrush Said”

I listened to a man speak in a radio program
of how he threw together all the leftovers
from Thanksgiving that no one wanted—

bits of brussels sprouts, carrot, onion, celery;
overlooked beets, wands of beans and wilted
parsley; desultory nuggets of turnip and sweet

potato turning into mash. And of course,
the carcass of the roasted bird. All these
he kept simmering in a stock pot on the stove’s

lowest setting, night and day, for a whole
week— until even the bones of the animal
softened to meal. Parts of things fell away,

disintegrated, liquefied— their outer husks
become indecipherable from chiseled versions
of themselves, as in Osias Beert the Elder’s

Still Life of a Roast Chicken, a Ham and Olives
on Pewter Plates with a Bread Roll, an Orange,
Wineglasses and a Rose on a Wooden Table
,

where the glistening life of things rises
through three glass nodes into flutes of clear
and rosy wine; and the knife suspends above the hard,

yeasty surface of a piece of bread: all that rich,
lovely bounty caught in the moment before the invisible
mouth descends and the petals darken on the rose.

Leave a Reply