Recipe for Solidarity

On those days when
The bread won’t rise, the words won’t come,
Justice is a mirage, democracy is a shambles and my kids embrace dissent—
I make ganache,
A bittersweet emulsion of chocolate and cream,
The heart of truffles.
Ganache has the power to ward off dementors and
Overcome truculence with succulence.

First, melt slightly bitter chocolate.
Next, bring sweet cream to a simmer and
Blend the two in a heatproof bowl.
The chocolate and cream will resist each other.
Stir gently, channel tranquility—
Force and impatience will break ganache.
It will seem an impossible undertaking.
Chocolate flotsam will bob in a sea of white cream
Alongside yellow globules of fat.
And then, this gunk will acquire the consistency of
Fresh manure in a wet spring pasture.
You will want to give up.
You’ve created poop.
At this moment, use a whisk
To tame the foul chunks
Into smooth, glistening, irresistible

This chocolate solidarity
Can only be coerced with tenderness, not legal tender.
Lobbying has no effect.
My hands, your hands,
The touch that reassures the anxious grandmother
And lulls the fussy baby to sleep,
Coalesces chocolate and cream.

For years to come,
We will be marching in the streets and
Toiling in the fields, and
Pleading truth with men indentured to liars,
Men whose livelihoods depend upon
The cream blaming the chocolate, and
The chocolate despising the cream.
Solidarity is our strength, our hope, our whisk.

Let me take your callused palm in my chilled fingers.
Together, we will hang on until
This seemingly hopeless mess becomes

Feb. 2012

—Cris Carusi, Madison, WI