I was flipping through the most recent issue of Gravy today and came across this gem of a poem. I sent it to my sister, who correctly pointed out that I should post it on my blog! So, here it is.
by Sandra Beasley
My father will never enjoy
the heavy, sunrise sweetness
of a golden tomato dashed with oil,
layered in basil. As with spinach,
as with olives, he tastes only
of salt his Texan mother
unleashed from a can
a half-century ago, feeding
four children on a budget.
We talk little of this:
the foods our parents
cook to mush, pepper to ash,
flavors forever rendered to chore;
that this too was a form of love.
What I remember is how,
during a snowstorm that stranded
our schoolbus, I hiked
to my grandmother’s instead.
And she made me not
chicken soup from scratch,
or a braise of bacon and cabbage,
but rather a tray of tater-tots
straight from freezer to oven.
They goldened like July.
We ate them with our fingers
while we played Scrabble, waiting
until it was safe to take me home.