MAMA’S MAKING SOUP TODAY
At breakfast mama tells us all
She’s making soup today,
And we all know just what that means,
We’d better stay out of her way.
‘Cause when my mama’s making soup
She makes a great big pot.
And some of it gets canned in jars
Because there’s such a lot.
From the garden come the carrots,
String beans and tomatoes,
From the cellar, pa brings out
A bushel of potatoes.
From the hen house mama takes
A hen that isn’t laying,
And as she wrings the chicken’s neck
She tells it to start praying.
From her herb garden by the door,
She takes parsley and some onions,
Checking stems so carefully,
She only wants the young ones.
She tells me to fetch water from
The well, and fill the pot,
And I ask Pa to help me out,
Because it weighs a lot.
Mama puts her apron on, and
Sharpens up her butcher knife,
When mama gets that soup look on,
You’d best run for your own life.
She’s peeling carrots, chopping beans,
And crushing up tomatoes,
And all the while she’s peeling and
Chopping up potatoes;
She throws the peelings out the door
And all the hens come running,
And gather round to hunt and peck
Where the cats are sunning.
Pa goes to fetch the mason jars
Stored down in the cellar,
And brings them up for me to wash,
‘Cause I’m such a cordial fellow.
Before long, Mama’s kettle boils
With vegetables and chicken,
And anyone who crosses ma
Is sure to get a licking.
The canning jars go into a pot
And mama cooks them, too,
And when the soup has cooked enough,
There’s plenty more to do.
Pa and I help mama fill
The jars up to the top,
And get the canner boiling
‘Til the water’s really hot.
When the jars have boiled enough
And are lined up on the table,
We all have a bite of soup,
And some bread, if we are able.
Into the pantry jars will line
The shelves from left to right
And I’ll be thinking of that soup
Long into the night.
–Sandra Lee Smith (FROM MY “AN AMERICAN CHILDHOOD” SERIES