Thursday, November 16, 2006

what little i can do

I don’t speak French, but this is for you, my friends.

What Little I Can Do
by Troy Cady

I can do about as much for you
as an unborn child.
Still, I’m here
and there’s love
and I’m tied to you
and your joy is mine.
And sorrow shared.

I may be funny to look at
and so may my ears,
but what I have, I give.
So I’m here
to listen.
And, even should you remain silent,
I hear.
I hear.
And, even should others shout,
I hear.
I hear.

I’m no Gabby Gourmet,
but I can cook you a simple supper.
How’s this?
Fresh bread
warm, orange, squash soup,
thick, the gourd pre-baked and
browned golden in oil,
then blended just right,
so it slides down
hungry throats
nice and easy.
Nice and easy.

I can even feed you,
spooning the broth
carefully into your
gaping mouth
if, by chance,
you feel like
quadriplegic orphans.
You say the word, though.
I would not want to
be an imposition;
only your nurse for,
let’s say,

And I can light a candle or ten,
should that brighten your eyes.
I can pull out your chair
and bid you rest
and talk
(deep or shallow, as you want)
and laugh at last.

And what would stop me
from laying the table
with fine silver,
though the fare be humble?

On second thought,
let’s bring out the
delicate, flowered china.

Or, if you’d rather,
sturdy bowls
in vibrant colors
royal blue
sunflower yellow.

And flowers,
yes, flowers—
or at least a bright red leaf
to cheer you.

Linen napkins,
white or cream,
take your pick,
as you wish.

And take your time.
Don’t be in a rush.
Because tonight,

I’m slow-baking
some hope
in oil
for you.

Just for you, my friends.

I can’t do much.
But that I can do.

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