The lentil soup my mum makes
is the kind that sticks to the roof of your mouth
and takes you under, drowning you
in a thick, glooping, tangy sea of taste.
It coats the bowl you filled to the brim
and begs for crusty white bread
daubed with such bergs of butter
that tear down each downy slice with weight.
All you can do is dip in, mopping up every last dreg,
tearing and dunking and losing lumps
to the depths of it.
Melted oil slicks
gloss the surface which cools
to a savoury skin,
asking to be broken.
It churns and seethes, lip-smacking lava
in deep urn-like pans,
burning your too-keen tongue.
It’s worth losing layers of skin over,
when your mouth drools at the smell of it
wafting in from under dripping lids
and through hallways.
And for all its denseness and tomato-based temptation,
it’s comfort – boiled, then simmered for 40 minutes,
blended with garlic, milk, oil, pulses
and other store-cupboard staples
that end up, blended up, as a feast.
Once the pan is on the hob,
I wonder if it will ever be
The Lentil Soup My Mum Makes
for someone other than me.