My friend, Hope Coulter, may be the best poet I know, but she’s not the only one. I wrote this a few months ago. Some of you who have some contact with the Cajun culinary tradition may find something familiar here.
By H. Paul Honsinger
© 2015 by H. Paul Honsinger, all rights reserved
But not hard.
But not cold.
But not dark.
There’s a chill in the veins, in the belly, and in the heart.
That hasn’t reached the bones.
There’s a gloom in the spirit,
That’s not quite the blues.
There’s a sigh for those loved who are distant, and who have gone beyond,
But not tears.
It’s time for gumbo,
Like my mother made, and her mother, and hers.
Like my sister and I make it today.
Fragrant and brown, thick and steaming, smoky and spicy,
The mystic alchemy of chicken and sausage, of roux and onions, of cayenne and rice.
To warm the veins and the belly and the heart.
To lift the spirit.
And remember the eyes and the smiles and the voices
Of everyone who has filled their bowls from the same cherished cast-iron pot
Who I still see
Through gumbo’s swirling steam
That always smells like home.