Peanut Butter Cookies

By
Peanut butter cookies—her specialty
The dough was soft and sticky
She rolled it between her hands
Forming small, gooey spheres

She would hand them to me
Her thin, bony fingers
Dropping them gently
Into my small, clammy palms

I sprinkled them with sugar
And placed them on the baking sheet
One after the other
Row after row of sugary pebbles

Every year for Valentine’s Day
Peanut butter cookies
To go with red, paper hearts
A little lace along the edge

Every year, just for me
The glowing warmth, paper scattered across the carpet
She cut the hearts for me
Her hands skillfully wielding the scissors

Every year, for as long as I can remember
Then one year, no more.
Her hands hurt. She cannot hold the scissors.
She cannot roll the dough.

I smile at her
Embrace her warmly
And tell her
That I can instead

Now it is me
Hands greasy, forming the spheres
I lay them in her palm
And she sprinkles them with sugar

I hold the scissors firmly
As we sit by the hearth
My paper hearts are not as even as hers
But she tells me they’re beautiful anyway

Peanut butter cookies—our specialty





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