Three Generation Recipe

February 12, 2010
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As I enter the door of my Nana’s kitchen,
I remember the story I was told;
How my mother, tossing around a softball,
Knocked over a jar brimming full of sticky, coffee colored molasses,
Which rained onto the blue and white tiles, causing the very stain I can see today.
It’s almost as though I can see nana’s porcelain containers:
Shining, bright and unscathed as they were when they were new,
Instead of dulled by handprints that dance over the faded flower pattern, and scratched
By countless uses, as they are today.
I imagine what her pantry must have looked like,
Jars of homemade jelly, stamped and squelched with the same process
That my mother taught me last week, causing my feet to stain a violent violet.
Mountains of flour, sugar, coffee and her other, far more secret ingredients,
Looming over Saltines, peanut butter and of course, chocolate chips.
And if I squint, I can imagine that the short, gray haired
Figure at the sink wears a flowery pink housedress as she used to, instead of jeans.
Before my eyes, she morphs into someone younger,
With auburn hair exactly my own shade- long, straight and red
As the cinnamon she loves in her pumpkin pie.
This dark haired beauty dances and spins around as she cooks
In the tiny kitchen, singing and smiling,
Laughing at the two curly haired girls who crowd the room,
Both wearing glasses wide and thick, like a young wizard’s, years before Harry was born.
They run where I run on the blue and gray rug,
Sneaking candy from the drawers that I sneak, and maybe
Even helping as I help, holding a coarse wooden spoon in one hand
And a green bowl full of the laughter of three generations in the other.

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