Poem in Which there is a Recipe by Sophie Herxheimer
She cries the onions into dice, sweats the leeks
into buttered tattered flags, the slime of the starch
from the peeled potatoes adheres to the blade
as her knife slices them into old pennies, she
sweeps the pile into her heavy mother’s late yellow
casserole. Whisks potato flour till it browns, only
flour stops that acid wine and stock fighting the swoosh
of chalky milk. Let the liquids settle their scores –
the girl sends her hand to ferret on the shelf, ghosts
guide her to caraway seeds, nutmeg, pepper, plenty
of salt. She looks in the fridge, pokes about. Faded
tarragon, good, that green and a blob of cream.
Slices of stale bread laid under velvet soup
dissolve the wall between herself and the ancestors.
THE NATURAL COOK
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