Fish Stock As A Metaphor For Love
The housewife making fish stock
is trying to find her husband
in the liquid. The leftover heads
bob like corks. She turns
each one over for the ferryman,
placing a sprig of parsley
in their mouths instead of a coin.
She waits for everything to boil
so he might suddenly shoot up
like a geyser. Only onions do.
She contemplates sucking on
a slice, remembering how rough
it was chopped, the movement
of her hand as it was flung inside
the pot along with the celery
and carrots. The blue flame starts
spluttering. The stock might simmer
out of its own accord. Every fish
she’s tasted may materialise in the pot.
Heat returns. The liquid has finished.
All that’s left is to clarify it,
leave it aside. Take one final taste.
After the Divorce
burned like hot coals.
I scalded myself
with puddles, wing mirrors
and glasses. My spectacles
almost made me self combust.
I tried freezing to death
on bad dates that sent me
to the North Pole. Blind dates
left icicles long as carrots
on my arms. The garden pond
was a frozen lake, the old oak
a snowman. The darkroom light
of sunrise not enough to restart
the cycle. Or so I’d thought,
not thinking how a simple walk
through the patchwork fields
was enough to thaw me
and dig the old me out of wherever
I had been left to rot
like a memento to past times.
Christian Ward is a UK-based writer who can be currently found in Wild Greens and is forthcoming in Dreich, Uppagus and Spillwords. He was recently shortlisted in the 2021 Canterbury Poet of the Year Competition.