By Charles Fernyhough (editor)
Writers celebrate the power of words to show us the world as others see it, raising funds for refugee and anti-hate charities.
Thursday, 28 December 2017
Twelve Days of Others #4: 'Soup' by Salena Godden
Imagine if seven people from seven nationalities
Came to your home to share one pot of soup
You would have seven conflicting versions of that soup
Someone would write to note the flavour. Another the heat
Someone would write about the meaning of soup
The size of the portions. The memory the soup triggers
Too salty. Not enough meat.
This is a stew? It's more a casserole!
This soup is a meal in itself!
I'm gluten intolerant!
The hungriest person at the table would just write: Thank you
This is human nature -
We look around the table and
Examine the world just as we do these dinner guests
We note our differences
Skin and manners, clothes and language
And we forget to sing
We forget to celebrate that we are one
That the act of love was the sitting down together
And sharing the pot of soup in the first place
And we say nothing
As they put someone in prison for using a fork to eat their soup
We silence the person that slurps soup from the bowl
And we ignore all the women because...
What the fuck does a woman know about soup anyway?
Some sit around the table and demand bread with their soup
Others feel entitled to the whole pot of soup ... all for them
And there's always one who will piss in the soup
So the soup is ruined for everyone
And sadly this is all human nature too
I'm too sad to finish this poem about soup
I'll just say
I have so much to be grateful for
I'm so lucky
I have a warm kitchen
A pot and some vegetables
Today I'm gonna make time
Today I'm gonna make love
Today I'm gonna make soup
(c) Salena Godden / July 2017
About the image, Salena writes:
This Christmas I’m gonna be wearing my new #RCK black hoodie, it's gonna keep me toasty and warm. Refugee Community Kitchen feed people without judgement. The RCK Volunteers cook over 2,700 hot meals a day for refugees. Order a hoodie today and support this vital cause.
Read 'Soup' at Salena's website and listen to her reading it live on Jonathan Ross's BBC Radio 2 Arts Show.
Salena will be contributing a new piece to Others, an anthology celebrating how writers and writing can help us to see the world from other points of view. Read more about Salena's contribution here. Please pledge your support now, and help us to raise funds against hatred.