Like Chicken-Fried Love
The chair, cherry red but chinked
with black layers showing through,
stood in the corner of Grandma’s noisy kitchen,
gathering cobwebs to its spindly legs
and golden flecks of crumbs,
the shortbread of love we grandkids gobbled,
in lopsided circles where it wobbled
as we begged for her jolly grin
or stood upon the well-worn seat to spy
the mystery, the absolute alchemy
that only she had mastered.
Hands pudgy and pink, she kneaded
rolls ready to rise, Buddy Holly tunes
wafting in the air around us,
along with scents of cinnamon
and something she called cooking sherry.
At her rounded elbows we learned
the meaning of happy, how butter
richly lingered, cast iron held
flavor to its belly, meringue peaked
like mountains making us forget
all but our wide-eyed awe.
No microwave or take-out, plated
even on the finest china,
replaces the clock slowly ticking
as we savored our chair moments,
watching the loops of Grandma’s apron
sway in rhythm, tucked safely
in the kitchen warmed by her gas stove,
cocooned in country chemistry.
April 12, 2013