Monday, January 14, 2008

comfort food

When you come, I want potatoes and beans and bread
and long naps that lead to visits with Aunt Mattie.

When I hear Donnie Hathaway, I think of Auntie’s smile
And the refuge I found in her childless arms.

When you leave, I think how my bones respond slower
and how much I look like her.

I wonder if this longing, this ache is how she felt.

*need a better title. Not sure where this is going. Ideas?


Sandy Carlson said...

Susan, I like this very much. The comfort food you describe is so warm and full of lasting energy, something that can replace when the "you" the voice addresses leaves?

I like this very much.

writerwoman said...

I like the general vibe of this. It evokes the spirit of black history, and family memories.

The last two stanzas are just right, imo.

The third I would change slightly by dropping the word and:

When I hear Donnie Hathaway, I think of Auntie’s smile,
the refuge I found in her childless arms.

This line is the one that leaves me with questions:
and long naps that lead to visits with Aunt Mattie.

Does that mean you see her in your dreams? That would be the line I worked on more.

As for a title, the only thing that comes to mind is Food for the Soul.

susan said...

Hi Sara,
In what way does this remind you of black history? Do you mean culture? Thanks for reading and commenting.

Anonymous said...

I think the you is the narrator's child. I like the generations here, and the comfort the elders give to the young, hiding their own heartache when the young grow up and leave.

susan said...

Hi Christine,
I've heard writers says they are often surprised by readers' interpretations. And I've heard them talk about how our own experiences influence how we perceive a work. Twice now, you've brought to a read something related but an more universal than the background I drew from to create the work.

Thanks for giving my work a close read and providing a thoughtful reply.

SB said...

How about "Soul Food"?

And, what I would suggest is to write a *lot* more, and then take out most of it.

I think there's something under here, that hasn't emerged yet.

susan said...

Hi SB,
I will seriously consider writing more and then editing. But this poem isn't about food or soul or even nuturing. Clearly this needs more work. And to be honest, I'd rather be poked in the eye than use 'soul'; the word's been tortured enough. lol