The Best Poem Ever About Chicken Soup

by Tom Bajoras

Love poems are like grass:
They sprout from every crack in every sidewalk,
but they all look and smell the same.

And death…
Oh, there’s an interesting topic.
Let’s write a poem about death.
That’s never been done before!

The same with beauty, time, sex, and revenge.
I can’t say anything about any of those
that hasn’t already been said.

Why doesn’t anyone write poems about geometry
or vitamins or income tax or toenails?
Right now, if I wanted to,
I could improvise the best poem ever about chicken soup.

Maybe I’m just afraid to try.
I mean, what if I did,
and what if I wrote passionately about
the shimmering rainbow drops of oil on the surface,
the seductive curves of noodles,
the brave birds who died as martyrs to make my lunch?
And what if I discovered that all the centuries
invested in love and death poems were a waste of time,
and it turns out that chicken soup
really is more profound?

How many things around me every day haven’t
been poem’d yet?
That kid on a bike,
that worm in a puddle, that
bowl of chicken soup,
that heart that’s beating inside my own chest?