ODE TO SALT – Linda Maud Matley

“Ye are the salt of the earth:
But if the salt has lost its savour,
Wherewith shall it be salted?” Matthew 5: 13

Oh, Salt, extolled in Gospel at our wedding.
You’ve daily lent your taste to married life.
Your qualities are worth investigation,
Each sprinkle giving zip to man and wife.
You’ve added relish to our English diet.
You’ve stood through thick and thin with your friend Pepper:
Enhancer, healer, escort, mate and spice.

But Salt, what if you once did lose your savour,
If you became a pinch of gritty grains
Whish merely scoured across our needy palate,
Your brilliance turning to the dullest grey?
What if our sea were brineless like dead water
And starving fish got washed up on the shore?
Suppose we just had pepper on our tables,
Its salty pal now useless, stale and poor.

Dear Salt, please stay close by and add your flavour.
You thrill us with your piquancy and zest.
You quicken each encounter with your granules.
You make us emulate you with or best.
And when you think you’ve done your work of salting,
Be sure to spill some extra grains for us
Who must be bricks of salt unto each other,
If marriage is to thrive and stay robust.

(Linda Maud Matley is a poet and writer living in Dulwich, London)

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