Sunday, 2 August 2009

My Mother's Soup Bowl

My mother's soup-bowl has a lid,
And knobs on each side.

Squat, and plain, with a primitive design
Painted in earth colours,
It reminds me of my mother,
With knobs on.

She died,
Not yet seventy.
Carotid arteries choked
By almost a lifetime of rich food.
Carrot broth in her sixties did little good
For a woman who hated vegetables.

I recall her eating Heinz tomato soup.
She supped her warm medicine.
Pursed lips drew liquid from spoon -
A stilted ritual.
When the last drop was gone,
She put the lid on.

Now, years later,
Nourishment swelters
Under primitive earth-colours.
I take the lid off,
Release a spicy cloud,
And sip her memory from my spoon.
I empty the bowl,
Just like she did,
But when I am finished,
I leave off the lid.