Poetry Friday:Everybody Made Soups by Lisa Coffman

Poetry Friday is hosted by Linda @ Teacher Dance


Today’s lunch was the last of the turkey soup, and, by proxy, the Christmas turkey.  We made the most of that turkey: pot pie, sandwiches, and soup.  That’s the last we will see of turkey until November, which is (at the moment) a big relief.

I almost tossed out this last bit of soup, so bored with turkey have I grown, but there was no time to make anything else this morning, and I cannot bring myself to resort to middle school cafeteria lunches.  So turkey soup it was.

In the quiet of my classroom, my plastic container of soup settled between two piles of reading journals awaiting my review, I found myself transported back to the holidays: the meals shared with children home at last, the conversations around the table, the companionable silence of just being in the same room with the people you love most in the world.

I was glad we made soup…if only to give me the chance, once more, to savor just-past memories, and be to be grateful.

Everybody Made Soups

After it all, the events of the holidays,
the dinner tables passing like great ships,
everybody made soups for a while.
Cooked and cooked until the broth kept
the story of the onion, the weeping meat.
It was over, the year was spent, the new one
had yet to make its demands on us,
each day lay in the dark like a folded letter.
Then out of it all we made one final thing
out of the bounty that had not always filled us,
out of the ruined cathedral carcass of the turkey,
the limp celery chopped back into plenty,
the fish head, the spine. Out of the rejected,
the passed over, never the object of love.
It was as if all the pageantry had been for this:
the quiet after, the simmered light,
the soothing shapes our mouths made as we tasted.



18 thoughts on “Poetry Friday:Everybody Made Soups by Lisa Coffman

  1. It’s hard to let go of the magic of the holidays, so I appreciate the way the leftovers let me hold on to the feeling of Christmas just a little bit longer! I wasn’t home for Christmas this year, and I miss those leftovers and that soup!

  2. “the quiet after, the simmered light.” I have been living with that quiet longer than expected and there is a certain sweetness about it. I appreciate how you make your cooking a sacred act of love.

  3. Your story and that poem made the perfect breakfast this morning. Thank you for filling me with the warmth of the soupy days right after a holiday. I’m right there with you. xo

  4. I will post this in my kitchen, Tara. It is beautiful, as is your own introduction. Happy that your holiday was merry, and with a little soup to savor! Thanks!

  5. I love the soup days, too. We make shepherd’s pie sometimes with the leftovers. Yum. But we are also glad to be done, and moving on to simpler fare. I especially liked your word choices, the ruined cathedral, the story of the onion and “limp celery chopped back into plenty”. Great stuff!

  6. What a perfect poem for your lunch soup story. It has so many lovely lines like:
    “the dinner tables passing like great ships…”
    “Cooked and cooked until the broth kept
    the story of the onion, the weeping meat.”

    It makes me want to go and make soup!

    Happy New Year!

  7. This is such a wonderful poem, Tara! I love your “ruined cathedral carcass” and so many other words and images. I savor soup through winter days and your poem adds another layer to that appreciation. Wonderful!

  8. Hmm, “the quiet after.. the soothing shapes our mouths made as we tasted.” Your choice of poetry always fits the moment of your life. It’s as if your moment conjured this poem. Or did the poem evoke the memory? Whichever way it happened, it is magical.

  9. I had my turkey dinner at a relatives’ gathering. The carcass was headed to the trash, but I asked to take it home. I pulled a full quart container of meat off of it and in my handy crockpot made enough soup for a week! What a gift!

    Your choice of poem is great!

  10. Soups soothe us as few other foods do. I love the imagery of this poem, Tara, and also the image of you at your desk, your soup transporting you “back to the holidays.” I will think of you there on Monday, as I’m sitting at my desk with the soup that’s simmering now.

  11. It’s so much fun to read a few soup poems shared today. Making soup stock from turkey or chicken bones is one of my favorite things to do. A beautiful idea that we can find plenty out of what seems ruined and spent.

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