when someone feeds you

when someone feeds you

When I was in college, my life revolved around working on the school literary journal. I met some of the closest friends of my life there and have enjoyed countless days, dialogues, open mics, writing dates, and life events with them over the past six years or so.

We got together last summer to celebrate a birthday and write some poetry. I spent the afternoon jotting down anything they said that I could write about later—there’s never a lack of inspiring thoughts from these people. Looking through my journal just before Christmas, I came across a quote I’d written down that day, and it still resonated more than anything else on the page.

“when someone feeds you”
a sestina

Shakti said, “It’s an act of love
when someone feeds you”
and those words still feed
me to this day. It was one
day we’d gathered together to act
as a family, as we had way back when.

To the songs of cicadas, we mused about when
we laid at the roots that grew into our love
and I remember fondly the way I would act
like there was never a time I didn’t know you.
To each other, we’re part of a greater someone—
to Sal’s mother, we’re mouths to generously feed.

Truly, we’re mouths, minds, and hearts to feed
and I feel that mine are best satisfied when
I share things as simple as one
cup of tea with the people I love.
Because I’m so blessed to have you
who all entice me with the ways that you act.

I admire your natures, I love that you act
on desires that drive you, that feed
your impulses, that make you
create and effect. I love that when
I crave a taste of art, there is someone I love
who can provide me with one.

I hope these lines serve as one—
they’re my rare, earnest act
of sharing myself and all of my love
and, in so doing, trying to feed
creative needs I’d tend better to when
I was ever and always surrounded by you.

And so this is my gift to you,
to my olives, each and every one,
for this is a reflective period when
the season calls for a gracious act.
For all of the ways you’ve kept me fed,
I thank you with my love—

because it’s an act of love
when someone
feeds you.

When I got married, my brother said he knew my husband was officially “in” once Mom started making our family dinners vegetarian to accommodate him. To me, that’s love.