Nothing wasted

As a fair cook must,
I waste nothing of my early life
but call it all the good and joyful taste
of mid-life broth, cooked
upon a cauldron large enough
to allow a pinch of error,
a soupçon of willful, obstinate demand,
the early loves of innocence
and the later ennuis
of boredom.

I do not know the final flavor
of this lively stew, or whether it will feed
the many or the few; I tend the fire,

set the table with a lacy cloth
and silverware and glasses
for the wine, a glass or two

to savor all the past and present
and to play upon the mind’s eye
what the future may entail.

It was abuela Pura who once taught me
that the kitchen uses all, the peel
and bits of vegetables, those too ripe fruit
that are too sweet for eating but may yet
become a wonderful compote. I have
many such pieces of a love that died
upon the branch yet ripened to a sweetness
and may be enjoyed within this rich dessert
that I call life.

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