A photograph of you welcomes
anyone entering my door
It was taken years ago
The scent of tobacco leaves fill my
Chats by the kitchen table
Home-grown tomatoes and buttermilk
Scribbled artwork on the fridge
Crumpled tissue next to the snuff cup
We have the same middle name
Decades of holidays and summer visits
autumn leaf pile jumping
Tag in the backyard
Old toys smelling of age
Walks in the cemetery
You always bought me pajamas and
kitchen towels for Christmas
Now shredded and worn thin
Your birthday card consistently the first
in my mailbox
But this year it never arrived
You always stood at your front door
to watch me drive away
And this is how I will remember you
Furiously waving as if never wanting to say
Rest in Peace, Emma Marie. Granny. You will be greatly missed.
This morning I sat on my lanai
and there I watched a butterfly
it flitted from leaf to bulb to twig
then soared along the crest
of October wind
they were present too
preparing loquats born
below winter’s moon
And beyond the shrill hull
of locust call
a songbird chirped her
And all these things
before the hour of ten
Would if I could have
this morning again
To sit in solitude
at my shoulders
To notice perhaps
what do not others
These are the apricot fried pies my mom used to make when I was a kid. I’ve mentioned them here before.
This is a photo taken a couple years back when she revisited the recipe in response to my nagging about wanting some. Forgive my crappy food photography.
But can’t you just taste them? The golden, buttery crust. The sweet, sticky apricot. Why have I now tortured myself so? My mom is out of town, taking care of my ailing grandmother. There is no way I’m getting a bite of these. I’ve tried recreating some of her recipes to no avail.
There are other tastes from my childhood which linger on my tongue. Granny’s backyard garden tomatoes, crimson, bursting with robust nectar. Nana’s pancake corn bread, the edges crispy and the middle a fluffy intoxication of milled corn. Nanny’s sweet rice, solidly puffed, dewy with cream and sugar, peppered with a hint of nutmeg.
Can you get I was raised in the South?
Now I’m one of those gluten-free, non-mammal eaters. Don’t hate me. My digestive system, conscience, and waist line appreciates it.
I’m grateful to have these culinary memories. I hope to provide the same. I do make a pretty mean grilled cheese for little man. And this Moroccan chicken stew. And coconut rice that tastes almost as good as Nanny’s.
What sumptuous dishes do you remember from your childhood? Have you ever tried recreating them?
Creators and inventors
before our time
Could they have had an inkling
of what’s to come?
To understand our future
is to know our history
That’s what I tell the children
when they sigh in boredom
All the Haikus in the world
Every painting made famous
long after the painter
left this realm
Can one word
change the world?
The question as ridiculous
as toy glass
But we must continue to ask it
Don’t put away the pen
The world’s heart cannot survive without
Image courtesy of waldenwritingcenter.blogspot.com