Today I will write a poem about Butternut Squash soup
with winter pears, ginger, garlic, carrots, pepper
the woman who was assaulted, how she wept
holding the stuffed giraffe, honey stick and prayer shawl
the week of incessant rain, global warming,
how the dead bees rained on her sun porch,
how she crawled under the car to get out of the rain
when he left her bloody and bruised at the county park
how the soup is blended, smooth, a rusty orange-brown
like the round edges of screws on the Forest Service green picnic tables,
the edges of his silver truck bed. How she wears amber, a round
gemstone from the Dominican Republic, warm light of hope.
How bees pollinate the squash, pears, vegetables, herbs and spices.
How the honeycombs are lit from within, pure chroma color.
hexagonal, the esoteric shape of bees’ bodies.
This poem is about equilibrium in the midst of social media,
how another acquaintance spiraled out, anxiety, depression,
perhaps multiple personalities, or personality disorder
which doesn’t exist in the latest DSM. What would his
diagnosis be anyway? charismatic sociopath? He is
the neighbor next door who mows your grass, removes wasp nests,
when you haven’t asked, and fixes the elderly neighbor’s fence
and how you would never suspect he was a predator
unless you were paying attention, watching the bees and stirring the soup
with a wooden spoon, adding a bit of Mediterranean sea salt.
Gwendolyn Morgan learned the names of birds and wildflowers and inherited paint brushes and boxes from her grandmothers. With a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College, and a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, she has been a recipient of writing residencies at Artsmith, Caldera and Soapstone. Her work has been published in: Calyx, Dakotah, Kalliope, Kinesis, Manzanita Quarterly, Tributaries: a Journal of Nature Writing, VoiceCatcher, Written River as well as other anthologies and literary journals. Crow Feathers, Red Ochre, Green Tea, her first book of poems was released from Hiraeth Press this past autumn. She serves as the manager of interfaith Spiritual Care at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center. Gwendolyn and Judy A. Rose, her partner, share their home with Abbey Skye, a rescued Pembroke Welsh Corgi. For more information, please visit her website.