“When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.”
like heavy shoulders
hard to bear
weight refusing to be comforted
a rubbed off gentleness
like candy wore off the sugar
like sugar wore off the sweet
when they pass by us on the street
an invisible burden hangs from the creases of their jeans
like expectation scratching it’s nails against the concrete
don’t get this wrong
they’re not bad women
though the accusations scream for merciless understanding
of their calling
are taught compassion in the proverb of scripture
they fight a constant sin but no
they’re not women without hope
women not rotten down to the core
just women whose wombs have never bore.
The wind has released itself from its chambers and spreads its body over the earth. A blanket of hammers slamming low temperatures into the atmosphere, it carries the clouds; full and dark with storms they are coddled into position. The sun has set and is nestled inside the crook of fire in the west wing of the heavens until it is time to renew itself again. The trees expose its private parts except the fourteen or so that do not lose its leaves to the whistling death sentence of winter. In less than a week from now, when the stars loiter on top the sky amidst the backdrop of midnight, people will decorate themselves with the image of change and resolutions, and make intoxicated promises they will never keep. Maybe it is just the warmth of liquor wrapping its arms around their spines, cooling their blood, and pulling at their heart strings. Suddenly it will happen, that moment when the bullet is separated from its shell, the parties burst into confetti, and this moment hushed into a lullaby. Right here, in the middle of a dead winter; everything cold and stiff and silent and yet loud inside a lowering orb of momentary bliss. This is the excited murmur of a new era and it is the canvas to which they will usher in a new year.
Be careful out there.
Winter has its perks, among which are soups. The warm feeling of delight as it travels your inward parts is deliciously heartwarming—literally. If there is one meal to enjoy during the cold it is Chili’s and Soups.
• 1 (3 1/2-pound) whole chicken
• 3 quart(s) low-sodium chicken broth
• 6 carrots, peeled
• 4 stalk(s) celery, ends trimmed
• 3 medium onions, peeled
• 5 black peppercorns
• 1 clove(s) garlic, crushed
• 10 sprig(s) parsley
• 2 sprig(s) thyme
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
• 4 leeks, tops and root ends removed
• 1 teaspoon(s) salt
• 1 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground pepper
• 3 cup(s) (5 ounces) medium egg noodles
Make the stock: Place the chicken and chicken broth in a large stockpot and set it over medium heat. Roughly chop 2 carrots, 2 celery ribs, and 1 onion and add to the broth. Add the peppercorns, garlic, 2 sprigs of parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and enough water to just cover the chicken. Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is very tender — about 1 1/4 hours — skimming the surface periodically. Remove the chicken and place in a large bowl. Strain the broth through a very fine sieve into a large, clean bowl or stockpot. Discard the vegetables.
Make the soup: Skim any fat off the top of the strained broth and discard. Slice the remaining carrots, celery, onions, and leeks into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and set aside. Remove and discard the skin and bones from the chicken, cut meat into 1/2-inch pieces, and set aside. Chop the remaining parsley leaves and set aside. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the vegetables and cook until the onions are translucent — about 7 minutes. Add the chicken, the reserved broth, salt, and pepper. Simmer the soup until the vegetables are tender — about 1 hour. Stir in the egg noodles and parsley and cook until the noodles are tender — about 10 more minutes. Serve hot.
Add toasted bread or tortilla for an added treat :).