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On my table steaming soup:
a bowl of truth from minced
meat, vegetables, purēes.

The world of commerce requires
me to believe this is just soup,
commodity to be consumed.

I know farmers
who grow and harvest produce –
the sacrifice my nourishment
signifies. I am indebted to them.

Unjustly treated garners of kidney
beans and corn visit my conscience
when I look into a saucer of this salad.

My hunch is my lunch shares
in the structures that keep others
hungry – workers whose children
can’t afford a meal today, keep

their pangs to themselves. In this
moment of full and plenty, nourished
by leftovers, I savour all life, from
soup to succour with gratitude.

A room with a table and a fire

our worlds begin and end here,
softening squabbles.

food carrying us on roads
within and without. Our imaginings
drink tea with us, recall gifts,
enemies, the ghosts of our
forebears: famine

in our bones for the way she died
on the boreen
between us and our neighbour’s holding,
carrying an egg
for her starving family.

We hide in her heart’s spaciousness;
weep for the terror of her death.


An energy called thirst
makes us cry at birth; never
stops surging – body for
restoration – soul for succour.
Our eyes are colour-thirsty,
our ears are news-thirsty; our
tongues tied for speech.

When we pause,
grow older our thirst
intensifies because of loneliness
for the liquid of love, the liquid
our thirst needs.

Mary Lee’s poems have appeared in numerous publications including Skylight 47; Orbis; Crannog; The Linnet’s Wings; The Galway Review, 4; Poems for Patience, (twice runner up) The Furrow; Spirituality; The Anglican Theological Review; The Poet’s Quest for God (anthology, Eyewear Publishing, UK) Dodging the Rain; Time of Singing, (award winner) Her work has been broadcast on A Living Word, RTE Radio 1. Bloom, her debut poetry collection was published by Matthew James Publishing, and imprint of ReJoice Publications, UK, 2016


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  1. Franci Louann

    I love your alliteration & your internal rhyme – for starters!

  2. Mary Lee

    Thanks so much, Franci – only reading your response now. Mary,


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