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
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
— Frances Huggard Migliaccio