Dig deep the spade, coconut oil mounding
Measure it ounce by every ounce, exact
Olive oil, ladled slip and splashy
ounce by every ounce, exact
Be it palm oil, orange and greasy, be it tallow
Rendered by hand, not easy
Be it lard, creamy and bright white
The fats, the oils, are heating
and ready. Shea? Okay. Castor oil too.
For bubbles, for lather, for this and for that,
There’s a science here, for utilizing fat.
Hold your breath now, don gloves and goggles
the Instigator, the chemical catalyst, the danger in it all.
Bringing that pure water up to 200° lickety-split,
Caustic enough to eat through metal, to blind on contact
There’s always a hush of awe and
much respect and caution,
Time to make this new thing.
Lye water poured into warm oils
Sliding down across the bottom of the pot like an underwater river
See it turning white? That’s saponification and
never was such a big word so fun.
Yeah, we hang our be-goggled faces over the pot and watch the chemical reaction.
We ooh and ahh like we’re watching fireworks.
We’re seeing the molecules being stripped and the oils turning into salts
and glycerin and this is soap’s beginning.
All that clear fluid turns creamy white and I can’t help but smile,
my cheekbones lifting my chemical goggles. Adjust.
Stick blender whirring, we give the chemical reaction
a huge shove forward, molecules crashing, soap happening.
It’s like a thin pudding now
Essential oils are dribbled in, herbs, root powders, seeds,
honey from our lovely bees.
Blend again and we have fragrant, beautiful pudding.
Pouring that mass into molds of all shapes and sizes,
some big slabs
some round columns
and we can’t stop smelling the air
*our soaps are available for purchase here: lancastersoapco