Winter Soup

Running in from outside, breathless and pink cheeked,
The girl holds the bowl of soup in two small hands.
Her chilled face tingles in the rising savory steam.
Closing her eyes, she drinks deep the golden miso.
“Yum,” she says, “it warms me all the way to my toes.”
In a swift, graceful moment, she puts down the bowl
And flies out the door to an ice crystal world.

The black shadows of memory draw lines over my mood.
A white winter sun outside is high and cold.
Sitting at the kitchen table, bundled up,
I look out the window to the hard frozen ground.
The soup tastes salty and bland and leaves me still empty.
Blowing on my fingers, I think, “When did I forget how to play?”
“How did I learn to feel cold in winter?”

—G. Elizabeth Law

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