This poem came out of the December 6, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from moonwolf1988, idhren24, aldersprig, and kelkyag. It has been sponsored by laffingkat as part of the 2012 Holiday Poetry Sale.
Hidden behind the pots and pans
and cauldrons of the kitchen
lies an archetype.
It is there in the
ereann coire of Ireland
and the potlatch of North America.
It is the source of fortune and fellowship,
the form of food as community,
and it appears in countless different ways.
You will find it under the tree
in a tin of cookies tied up with ribbon:
food as a gift.
You will find it in potlucks
and food swaps, expressing
an exchange of energy.
You will find it in communal kitchens
where people cook together,
eat together, live together.
It is chicken soup
for the mind and soul and body:
food as family, food as comfort.
This is how we care for each other,
sharing that which is necessary for life,
nurturing in the first tongue we ever learned:
I love you.
I will that you continue.
Therefore, I feed you.
Around the world there are legends
of a pot that is always full
and never runs out of food.
This is why: no matter how much
love you give away,
there is always plenty left.