pumpkin soup


grandmothers aren’t all patched quilts and quiet rocking chairs
sometimes they are potion-makers
wild-haired women who speak to the stars
and cry softly at night
where no one can hear.

in october it gets warm
not outside, where the bats and black cats play ball in the street
but in the house, where something is always stewing on the stove
where you step into the kitchen and begin to sweat
where frost forms wishes on the window.

my grandmother misses her friends
her children won’t come til christmas
the seasons bring the dark faster and the wind comes quick
so she closes the curtains
because there’s nothing to see.

her slippers are soft
as she steps to the stove.
scents of magic blend in steam
she twirls them around her hand
with a gentle smile
a kind one.

she stirs the pot:

nutmeg dashed against a hint of pepper
bumping pieces of cashews
churned with heavy cream
ginger root and mustard seeds 
fall from her fingertips
brushes of cinnamon
drifts of thyme
and at the end
the press of pumpkin
splashing the sides
spooned into bowls.

tonight, she will be warm.

she carries the bowl to the window
where night has arrived to open its eyes
and smile from above.
outside the stars and moon shiver
so she lifts the bowl to their lips
and shares her soup with them
stardust glitters on the spoons
the moon blinks bright
the night is soft.

the cats gather round to sip
their little tongues catching drops on their whiskers
and she pets the smallest behind his ears.
the bats watch upside down
from telephone wires
and somewhere,
the wind whistles hello
the spirits wave from dark windows
and the world 
is not so lonely