A mysterious man came to my starving town
back in ’96.
Filled the bed of his Chevy S-10
at the Tucker Car Wash
set up a screen so we couldn’t see
so the cops came, told him we ain’t got a
J.C. Penney, that’s the next town over
but he says he’s making rock soup.
Comes from behind the screen
lukewarm ladle in hand, sipping
it thoughtfully, Could use some mayonnaise.
And the sheriff had a packet on him, so
the man goes behind the screen, comes back
with the empty, sipping on that ladle. Band director
asks if she can get some of that soup. Sure, but could use some
hot dogs. She comes back with a barrel.
Could use some Cool Whip. Could use some Jello
Could use some chipped beef. Could use some –
A fortnight of church potlucks
turned truck stew.
The town brought their best Tupperware
and the stranger stayed for many days to feed them
rock soup. But I couldn’t help but peek behind
the screen, to see what I could smell –
The Rock, cooking.
Dwayne Johnson reclined in the bed of the truck
chains brighter than a bunch of koalas
on a Lisa Frank trapper keeper.
That water was never even hot but
must’ve been magic in that fanny pack –
the Rock soaking in those relaxed-slacks, my village saved
by turtleneck elbow-rag swag.
Renee Agatep is a short story writer and poet in Tampa, Florida. She realizes this isn’t funny if you have not both read “Stone Soup” and seen the Rock in a fanny pack. You can find her on Twitter @GoingbyRenee.