Family Soup

By Perie Longo

At the stove, cooking the kind of soup
swimming with leftovers,
my grandson, recently turned five, asks,
“How long will you survive?”

Startled, I choke, aim for simplicity.
“A long time.”

“Will you live to 100?”

“Maybe.” He brushes away my kiss,
pulls a toy sword from its sheath.

His older sister plays Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
on the piano. The oldest, age ten, informs us
she’s going to college in “Glasglow”
to become a wizard like Harry Potter.

Some days you can’t help standing still
in a world that will let go of you, like it
or not. For now there’s a meal to serve.

“When’s 100?” he continues, his sword
in the pungent air. “Almost never,” I assure
to calm concern. Ask if he will sample
the soup, does it need more spice?

He likes that word, besides
he wants to be a chef. He slurps
from a spoon. “Good!” and runs off
to slay some lurking dragon.

Perie Longo, Santa Barbara Poet Laureate (2007-09), has published four books of poetry. She teaches poetry privately, and is a psychotherapist and Registered Poetry Therapist who facilitates writing groups for wellness at Hospice and elsewhere believing that poetry inspires hope and healing, bridging the gap between self and others. Also by this poet: "Old Soul" and "The Blue Poet"