Recipe for the Broken

by Robert Peake

Curl them out of their skins, lop
potatoes and parsnips into smoking
broth, they rise and plunge
the turgid surface bursting gas.
Crone broth, swamp broth, whatever
doesn't kill you—make them well,
in drawing breath within the steam
give tribute to apocryphal mercies—
Cordelia changing Lear's bandages,
centurions changing their minds,
and the obscurity of Irish mothers
swirling through vapors in silence.
Drink of this transfused kindness,
and eat of this brine called hope.