Twelve Days of Others #4: 'Soup' by Salena Godden

Monday, 18 December 2017

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
Fuck war!
Make love!
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. 

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