June 2, 2008

I'd like to share a beautiful poem my Uncle Pete wrote and sent to me today. It is about our family.


Remembering to add cinnamon to the coffee
today, I am back in time in other mornings
in my mom’s kitchens---
in the eight or so homes we lived in---
on the white stoves are silver saucepans brimming
with hot cereal, brown, bubbling, gradually thickening,
Wheatena or Roman Meal most likely,
my favorites.

Mom wears an apron tied in the back. We’ve a game
where I sneak up and untie the strings while she’s stirring
the pot with the big spoon. Laughing, she seems happy here
making breakfast for her family on chilly November

We sit down to big bowls of thick hot mush
and watch the dollops of brown sugar melt,
slowly spreading over a fat island
of coarse grainy wheat afloat
in a pond of pure milk.

The first bite is so sweet, so warm
and calming,
the cereal laced with dark sugar
tastes like molasses,
‘stick to your ribs’ comfort,
satisfaction for the school day ahead.

I know now these full vessels
held food for our hearts as well,
meant to sustain and protect
through the storms
and struggles she
could not prevent
and yet surely would visit
our home.


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