Not Only About Chili

Not Only About Chili

“But you love chili,” she moaned.
But his lips pressed tightly against it,
even after she had liquified it to a coral slop—
and, no, it was not because
she’d liquified it
to a coral slop. 

We tried all the old favorites—
apple sauce, tomato soup, rye toast
with a poached egg,
whatever flavors of Ensure
were stacked
against the wall, the chocolate

foods that were like old tunes, melodies he knew.
But he would not sing along, could not,
his body on its own fork
in the long road of disease.

He had a gravely voice, even when young.
I think of the froggy who went a’courting
in a big blue book
when I was little; the green frog
outlined in black, a little tied sack
at his back, a sack on a stick. 

She did not say, “but you love me,” instead of “chili”
or “tomato soup” or “applesauce.”

But that was a given; he said it all the time, how he loved her.
Even as he died, he said it.

The body won’t always do
what we want,
won’t live until the other’s
ready to go,
won’t/can’t swallow.

Have you ever seen a bird hold hands
as it flies? Two birds?
Of course not. 

But hands I have seen—hands joined
and spread
like wings—


Very much a draft poem, but I like it; hope you do too.  (All rights reserved as always.)

Vote vote vote.  Women’s rights are on the ballot; women’s rights and human rights. 

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2 Comments on “Not Only About Chili”

  1. Helen Says:

    After I finished reading, I honestly didn’t know how to express what I felt. However you knew this “story” of everlasting love … thank you for the gift, Karin. It filled my heart.

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