Making Shrimp-Okra Gumbo


Prepare us, Lord, to celebrate these sacred mysteries.

For the making of shrimp-okra gumbo is a rite profound,

A series of washings, choppings, slicings, sortings,

Pourings, mixings, tastings, heatings, desliming,

Sstirrings, deveinings—

Until the time comes to ponder the thing itself:

The thing itself is the gumbo in-itself,

The broth, holding in its liquid way

Onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic—

That Trinity of Four Persons—

And the roux—

Ah, the roux: oil first, flour next, heat just right,

A color brown-roux will be brought to life—

A new color never before seen,

Color close to the fawn’s soft ear,

Color close to an autumn leaf’s earthy face,

Color close to once seen strands fainting as a sunset died.


--October 18, 2013