When you need a big pot

When you need a big pot

for cooking, likewise a huge bowl

for holding, sharp knife

for slicing, nothing

else will do. No two ways.

And when one wishes to welcome

guests for lobsters, the pot

looms large, the canvas of cooking

broad, the eager spirit willing, sprawling, generous.

Blades are honed, bowls brought forth, fixings sought

in anticipation.

And after searching for lobsters in April on this island in the ocean

and finding oddly none

available for the weekend, one discovers they can be

shipped by ferry, an hour from Galilee.

And the big pot becomes central, and precisely

where was the hulk last seen?

Friends have been invited with their friend,

newcomer to the island. Best it must be

of my lone hands, resourcefulness and tools.

A meal of simple parts: baby lettuces

bathed, awaiting extra virgin et cetera,

potatoes baked, stuffed back into brown skins, likewise wait.

And yes, the big pot will now be needed, by the approaching lobsters.

There was a biggest pot before the house went topsy-turvy

with upheaval of construction. Migrated. Ah —

retrieved from tag sale goods in the church basement. Sorry, god,

must welcome honored guests into my house on this green earth, and need

the big pot, for my devices and desires.

And ah, the big pot: scrubbed, shining reassuringly

large of girth, deep, filled with water, which

the big pot nurtures, slumbers, toward distant boil, for a long,

vastly long while.

And in that while the company proceeds

to entertain the hostess, and as stories

of theater enter laughing, all forget

the slowest boil on this earth, in the studiously

unwatched big pot.

At boil’s end a miracle: lobsters tender,

inside red armor. Convivial business: cracking,

sucking of shells, swirling in butter, prying,

teasing sweet morsels, licking of fingers, tossing

through flowing words and wine, each hollowed carapace

toward a huge bowl.

Simple meal — puts to work the guests. And

glorious evening: rounded and shaped by pace

and the social grace: of that slowly adept, astonishing

big pot.

— Frances Huggard Migliaccio

— 2012




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