The cook with his carroty head is begging us to eat; he beckons with his ladle to everyone that passes. He bargains and blusters like he is the bastion of life keeping us from the grave with his cobbled together soup. His eyes twitch and bulge without so much as a rhythm to go with the piffle he serves as an unwanted side to the lumpy brown water, only passing as food thanks to the orange of the carrots. They sometimes listen but mostly donate as little as they can to justify the food, cupping the bowl with warming hands against the rainy winds.
I sit low to the ground, a bucket my throne while I regard this fool, my knees up to my aching chest. The closest I’ll come to feeling that warmth is the burning the swishing in my flask can do. I don’t need him or his lined, long face or thin, patchy hair. His lack of respect pains my ass more than this bucket, and amongst us, a group of men fighting in mud and death, he does not belong. I wish more than anything he would quiet and let us weigh the fighting we’ve faced, and will face again soon, chat with us. Let us break bread and understand one another. Let us feel it a little more and a little less so we may greet it as it comes.
But no. Instead he barters his soup for an ear and a little self-importance to fancy when the night comes.