Lentil Soup

Penny Perry poet

 

By Penny Perry

for Lisa

A coyote calls to its kin.
A rabbit shifts under porch light.
Lizards, coyotes, hummingbirds,
foxes—your daughter, Natalie,
rescued, nursed them all.
It is my turn, now, Lisa.
I’ve simmered curry, garlic,
lentils, celery, bay leaf, hot cayenne,
on this early summer night,
two days past the solstice,
this odd, sacred window
between your daughter’s death,
and the celebration of her life.
For twenty-three years
you’ve brought cornbread,
bird seeds, sweet peas
to my front door.
Two nights ago, you gripped
the nurse’s pen,
and asked to sign away
Natalie’s eyes,
her still beating heart.
Wind rattles frail windows.
The season turning,
moon going down.
My turn to search for words
I don’t have. Only carrots
and cayenne jarred now
with lentils in glistening glass.
A woodpecker knocks
at the front door, taps at a hole
in the door frame,
retrieving an acorn he stored
last fall for this summer night.

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

About Penny Perry

PennyPerryKateHardingMugPenny Perry is a six-time Pushcart Prize nominee in poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in California Quarterly, Lilith, Redbook, Earth’s Daughter, the Paterson Literary Review and the San Diego Poetry Annual.

Her first collection of poems, Santa Monica Disposal & Salvage (Garden Oak Press, 2012) earned praise from Marge Piercy, Steve Kowit, Diane Wakoski and Maria Mazziotti Gillan.

She writes under two names, Penny Perry and Kate Harding.

Photo credit: K-B Gressitt © 2017

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