Perhaps the soup, itself
deserves more study.
There were times after Sunday
when a nice ham bone supplied the fat,
and other times when Mom used bacon
(maybe even side pork).
But not when Jigs was there,
the man who moved haystacks
fast and furiously, and Dad
made him stop enjoying the fare
to demonstrate that we say grace.
Dad souped his plate and peppered
the surface black and grim. Butter
chunks floated in this great tawny sea,
sopped with homemade thick-sliced bread,
and afterwards there were haystacks,
always and forever castles, mighty
fortresses, retreats for thoughtful
children: Cloistered alfalfa walls,
good food fit for cattle and mete
for our growing souls away from
such tables, such misunderstood
applications of grace and pepper,
of grace and butter and salt.