Sweet tea in lime green Tupperware tumblers,
Brewed in clear vessels stacked
Beside the ceramic, hand-painted Dwarves
Blue hydrangea outside the kitchen window.
Hand-picked, semi-cultivated blackberries,
Sprinkled with pure cane sugar,
Delivered on short, sometimes thorned stems,
In a bowl from the collection she’d
Earned by redeeming S&H green stamps.
Slow-sunset-red tomatoes, perfectly-eighthed,
Salted and gooey-seed-bursting,
Grown from seedlings in the garden corner,
Protected from birds and deer,
By permeable steel fencing and snap pea garland.
Sour cream coffee cake leveled with a crunchy
Double-batch of walnut topping,
Accompanied with a brimming cup of whole milk,
In the middle of the afternoon,
Between lunch and dinner for no reason at all.
Cookie batter straight from bulging beater tines,
And then from the spatula, then
From the bowl itself, snuck to my lips by her own
Bony finger with promises to keep
The secret of our playful, indulgent sneakiness.
And mashing potatoes to pulps,
And cultivating mint from cuttings,
And building hot fudge sundaes,
And sprinkling paprika on deviled eggs,
And squeezing juice from limes,
And spitting watermelon seeds,
And throwing spaghetti at walls,
And double-sifting flour.
Burning through every love-laden calorie,
Effortlessly, beside Grampa,
Chopping, mowing, tilling, fetching. Doting
On the best ingredient of
Every bite of every sultry summer day.