I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

30 April 2010

Kitchen Memories

My mother’s sugar spoon
that I lived with
all through my childhood
and live with now
stamped EPNS:
only silver-plated,
its deep, round bowl
already well-worn
by the time she died and I
souvenired it.

My stepmother,
the one they wrote about
in the fairytales,
feeding my brother and me
mouldy vegetables,
stews with bits of broken glass.
(No we didn’t eat; not silly.)
And the rubber-tiled floor
I had to scrub on my knees
with cold water.

Darling Aunty Ev
who rescued us
and took us to live
in her own house
showing me how lemon juice
cleans an electric jug,
and when you take lids off
always to put them upside-down
keeping the dirt and germs
on the outside.

Sitting in a rented kitchen
with my first husband, Don,
hearing over breakfast
the news on the radio:

President Kennedy shot
and taken to hospital;
President Kennedy dead.
Eventually we rose
and went to work as usual,
not as usual.

Dutch-born Bill,
the father of my kids,
teaching us to savour
salt herring out of a barrel,
sauerkraut and mashed potato
and the rich warm taste
of Rokwurt dipped in mustard.
Encountering that again
tonight after many years,
I think my palate sang.

Coming home with Andrew
(my third-time-lucky)
after Darrell and Lottie’s wedding
where they fastened hands
and jumped the broom,
to a supper of coffee
with wedding-cake.
He asked me to cut off
half the icing from his share
to have myself. I knew he would.


NaPoWriMo Day 30

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