Barbara Crooker – Poem With An Embedded Line By Susan Cohen

72A2E812-4430-41AE-B3EE-BD7A7F1B7BEEBarbara Crooker

When the evening newscast leads to despair,
when my Facebook feed raises my blood pressure,
when I can’t listen to NPR anymore,
I turn to the sky, blooming like chicory,
its dearth of clouds, its vast blue endlessness.
The trees are turning copper, gold, bronze,
fired by the October sun, and the bees
are going for broke, drunk on fermenting
apples. I turn to my skillet, cast iron
you can count on, glug some olive oil,
sizzle some onions, adding garlic at the end
to prevent bitterness. My husband,
that sweet man, enters the room, asks
what’s for dinner, says it smells good.
He could live on garlic and onions
slowly turning to gold. The water
is boiling, so I throw in some peppers,
halved, cored, and seeded, let them bob
in the salty water until they’re soft.
To the*soffrito*, I add ground beef, chili
powder, cumin, dried oregano, tomato sauce,
mashed cannellinis; simmer for a while.
Then I stir in more white beans, stuff the hearts
of the peppers, drape them with cheese and tuck
the pan in the oven’s mouth.*Let the terrible*
*politicians practice / their terrible politics.*
At my kitchen table, all will be fed. I turn
the radio to a classical station, maybe Vivaldi.
All we have are these moments: the golden trees,
the industrious bees, the falling light. Darkness
will not overtake us.