Happy May and Welcome to Poetry Friday at Alphabet Soup.
Mother’s Day is a holiday of mixed emotions. It’s true what they say: you never stop missing your mother. Mine has been gone eight years.
I’m thankful for those little reminders of her abiding presence; especially poignant are snippets of her handwriting in old cookbooks or on recipe cards.
MOTHER'S DAY MEMO Remembering Ida by Anita Pulier Breathe in her scent, thumb through food stained pages, touch her buttery finger prints. Remove her little notes on more garlic or less wine, place them in your jewelry box in case they contain secrets, it's time to find Mom's clues. Bow your head to this unique holiday offer of sensory overload. Recall family dinners crowded around an orange banquette curving around a Formica table, kitchen walls strewn with flowered wallpaper insisting on cheer. Allow a moment to grieve the loss of unconditional love. Pour a nice cup of tea, open the Times online, place the cursor on the world you live in now. ~ from The Butcher's Diamond (Finishing Line Press, 2018), posted by permission of the author.
My mother Ida was born in the back room of her immigrant parents’ Brooklyn grocery store. The family would gather for meals in that same back room, sitting around a barrel that served as a table.
In her own home Mom insisted on family dinners in the dining room and took pride in her cooking. She was a fabulous self taught cook. She collected recipes in a small filing box. On those cards and in her cookbooks (all of which I inherited) are little notes and observations that fill me with memories and longing when I pull one out.
My mother Margaret was also a self taught cook who kept recipes in a small filing box. The poem’s title, “Mother’s Day Memo,” is especially apt, since Margaret worked in an office and often typed memos (and recipe cards) on her slick IBM Selectric. When she sent me some of those recipes after I moved to Virginia, she’d often scribble helpful tips in the margins. She’s still teaching me. 🙂
I have many fond memories of sitting at my grandmother’s red Formica kitchen table (where I helped my aunts wrap hundreds of dumplings). Whether you grew up in New York or Hawaii, food memories, with their “sensory overload,” may just be the most nourishing of all, since they speak of family and friends together, our unique cultural and social histories, happy chatter, spoons and glasses clinking.
What we wouldn’t give for just one more sip of our mothers’ unconditional love. ♥️
Now, please leave your links with the dashing Mr. Linky (he’s feeling especially peckish today). Enjoy your travels through blogland as you sample the delectable smorgasbord of original poems, reviews, poetry challenges, and commentary being shared by our friends this week.
🌹 Happy Mother’s Day to all, and special thanks to Anita for letting me share her poem today! 🌹
*Copyright © 2022 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.