Stone Soup

by Allen M. Weber
Desert Moon Review
Honorable Mention, January 2007
Judged by Pascale Petit


I build bonfires in deserted streets,
tend needful cauldrons of boiling rain.

From unlit houses, humble townies
watch to see if I will step too near,

feed a flame , and for a moment satisfy
their monotonous hunger. Abandoned

daughters wade through pigweed gardens,
stare past tilted pickets, and overlook

their own seasonal fast. Today
each man of rag and bone has gone away;

they scuff dust-white shoes on gravel roads,
or stumble after a nag with a plow

to turn a barren field. Art is wasted
on the artless; I play their kin for fools,

trade hyperbole for food–the odd
wilted carrot or an off cut of meat.

My contribution is chalkstone, color
spooned from evening’s bowl, but a woman

may take sustenance from seasoned words,
and leave her scent in temporary hands.

Her accolades may serve me well, but still
I’ll fade into this self-made parable–

two stone less than Sunday last–still
I’ll carry no salt, no onion for tomorrow’s soup.



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