Mid-April the mercury still lingers near the freezing mark.
The firewood cut and split for winter’s been consumed.
So only scavenged bits get fed into the old wood stove,
the flue lowered to make them last. At 4AM the all-nighter
still smoked, so I stoked 2×4 shards, added air, & waited.
Within an hour crackles and burning warmed my backside.
Musing on meditation with my wife as the cast-iron pot
of water steams, our coffee mugs empty, and Sheba barks
away intruders, a phrase forms: “cooking experience.”
Remembering hours sitting in what had been Mom’s chair
next to Dad in his final months, about half his few words
were thanking me for being there: years simmered essence.