Dutch Oven

The cast iron Dutch oven
was already old
by the time it entered my life.
It had already known love
and care
and good use.
It already contained flavors
from decades ago,
part of the seasoning
that would improve
with each use—
it came to me still black
but I didn’t fully comprehend
its value
or fragility—
only the intent,
which was for me to enjoy
the way peach cobbler
or beef stew
were made magically better
when simmered long.
But I let it go—
let it accumulate rust
outside under the deck—
and by the time
I wanted to resurrect it,
to bring in back into the world
and fill it with new memories,
I found that I let that gift
go bad, crack, expire.
And the only thing
that could save it
would be to melt it down
in a furnace so hot it glowed,
and pour it into another mold—
the same way our hearts
get burned, recycled,
and with reticent hope, renewed.




“Peasant Woman Cooking Near a Fireplace” by Vincent van Gogh, 1885

Published by demarisgaunt

I currently live in Greenwood, Indiana. I love to listen to music, books on CD, podcasts or NPR as I work in my studio.  My favorite artists are Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. I love poetry, but only the good stuff that isn’t so abstract I can’t understand it. Abstraction better lends itself to visual art, I think. Stephen Dunn is my favorite poet. He’s said just about anything that can be said about the inner workings of the heart and mind. My favorite novel is Atonement by Ian McEwan. My all time favorite band is The Cure. I love science, and anything that relates to how the mind works. I don’t believe in the supernatural. If I could meet anyone in the world, it would be Richard Dawkins or Steven Pinker. If you don’t buy my art or read my poetry, buy one of their books. It will enrich if not change your life.  My favorite things to do are hiking, kayaking and camping. My favorite food is so common, I’ll keep you in suspense (It starts with a P). I prefer chocolate to vanilla. Green is my favorite color. I have an aversion to planning or scheduling of any kind, and I live for spontaneous adventures! Telephone conversations make me anxious, and I avoid them at almost all cost. I had a happy childhood. I’m having a pretty fantastic adulthood. I have every intention of seeing my 100th birthday, after which I will happily relinquish my guts to the future of medicine. Cheers! ~DeMaris

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