Poem: The Slightest Weight

The Slightest Weight

In the Shaker House, kitchen utensils hang from a shelf.
Cast iron pans. Ladles. A two prong fork.
Oddly, a scale, not for weight, but balance.

Nearby, a fire burns. High and hot,
driving out the dawn’s cold. Creating the coals,
that you will use to cook on.
It is an old way of feeding oneself,

add mistakes are costly. They burn.
Not just the food, but you.
Your arm bears the scars of learning your craft,
and for all your skill, there will be new ones.

It is the cost of living. Of learning to feed oneself.
Others will let you starve, not in meanness. Rarely that.
But out of sight, out of mind.
There is way too much truth in that old adage,

What you don’t see, you hit. You neglect.
You live too often on both sides of that equation.
You look at the scales and wonder why they are there.
Not for measuring. Not exactly. Perhaps a reminder

of how often you lose the balance, and how
the slightest weight can thrown everything off,
in cooking and in life. Leaving you, or those you love,
too salty, too sweet, or too broken. Fragile like eggs.

About this poem.

Too personal to explain. I will leave you to find your own meaning.

The picture was taken at the Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusetts.

Tom

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