Lentils and barley,
water and salt,
split peas and pasta—
pure to a fault—

stir until clouded,
season to taste,
boil and then simmer,
nothing to waste.

Greens can be added.
Time’s on a loop.
Towers have toppled
into the soup.

Cauldron of comfort
served with warm hands,
this is a recipe
crisis demands.

—Claudia Gary