A Pot of Red Lentils

By Peter Pereira b. 1959 Peter Pereira
simmers on the kitchen stove.
All afternoon dense kernels
surrender to the fertile
juices, their tender bellies
swelling with delight.

In the yard we plant
rhubarb, cauliflower, and artichokes,
cupping wet earth over tubers,
our labor the germ
of later sustenance and renewal.

Across the field the sound of a baby crying
as we carry in the last carrots,
whorls of butter lettuce,
a basket of red potatoes.

I want to remember us this way—
late September sun streaming through
the window, bread loaves and golden
bunches of grapes on the table,
spoonfuls of hot soup rising
to our lips, filling us
with what endures.

Reprinted from Saying the World, 2003, by permission of Copper Canyon Press. Copyright © 2003 by Peter Pereira.

Source: Saying the World (Copper Canyon Press, 2003)

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Poet Peter Pereira b. 1959

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Relationships, Love, Romantic Love

Biography

Peter Pereira is a physician, a poet, and the founder of Floating Bridge Press. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Poetry, the Virginia Quarterly Review, and several anthologies, including Best American Poetry and To Come to Light: Perspectives on Chronic Illness in Modern Literature. He has received the “Discovery”/The Nation and Hayden Carruth prizes, and has been a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award.
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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Romantic Love

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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