dVerse Poetics: Recipe Poems

Today, Mish is our prompt giver for the Poetics section of our Pub. She is asking us, in spirit of the Season, to give us recipe poems – but not just recipe for food, recipes for solitude, disaster, happiness, peace, war, well being, love, etc. The recipe is my Grandmother’s recipe for old fashioned tea cakes and in the pic, is also her original enameled wooden rolling pin she used when baking over 90 years ago. My mother came to live with my husband and I about two months ago. She has Alzheimer’s and is in frail health, but she remembers these cookies!

Recipe for Memories

She looks puzzled.
Why didn’t anyone tell me I had a child?
Why didn’t mama tell me I had a child?
I sigh deeply and explain,
that when she lived in Tennessee I called
her twice daily –
That she and papa raised me.
That she never mistreated me or left me,
that I always had the best she and papa could afford.
She will nod and sometimes request to be taken to bed.
When she awakens and joins me again in the kitchen,
I mix together softened butter, eggs, vanilla, flour.
I shape and cut and put into the oven.
She sniffs the air.
I remember Mama baking these when I was a child.
I remember her rollingpin with the green handles.
Why didn’t Mama tell me I had a child?

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ladynyo
    Dec 06, 2016 @ 15:21:23

    This is so sweet and sad. It’s weird how we, once the children, are now the parents, a reversal for all. Touching and lovely, Toni.


  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Dec 06, 2016 @ 15:22:03

    Oh this is so sad… I will meet my Mom during the weekend, and since she has ceased to talk, I’m not too optimistic… but at least she will be glad for a visit… (I hope).


  3. kim881
    Dec 06, 2016 @ 15:24:22

    Oh Toni, I have big fat tears.


  4. whimsygizmo
    Dec 06, 2016 @ 15:51:21

    Oh, Toni. This brings salty tears. This is such a beautiful piece…what a funny and terrible thing that something as common as cookies stays in the memory, and something as important as a daughter slips away. Sending you so much love during this difficult time. May your words continue to help heal.


  5. robert okaji
    Dec 06, 2016 @ 16:01:40

    Heartbreaking, and yet comforting.


  6. Glenn Buttkus
    Dec 06, 2016 @ 16:45:26

    I swear, I occupy my mind continuously with joyous tasks & projects, trying to stay ahead of the metal stalls & senior moments that can/may lead to failing memory. I respect you for taking your mother into your home; knowing what a commitment that represents. It is off to the “Home” for most of our parents–a sad modern outcome.


  7. gypsy snow
    Dec 06, 2016 @ 17:16:25

    What a heart-rending piece.


  8. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Dec 06, 2016 @ 18:04:35

    Zing go the strings of my heart. ❤ ❤ ❤ This is a sweet, sad peace but so well written.
    It's amazing who stays rooted in memory no matter what.


  9. Mish
    Dec 06, 2016 @ 20:08:28

    I am so moved by this, Tony and wishing I could hug you right now. You are truly a gem of a daughter, caring for your mom in these difficult days. I hope that writing continues to help you through and that sweet memories of love and tea cakes remain in your hearts forever. ♥


  10. emangarduque
    Dec 06, 2016 @ 21:54:56

    mother’s love is divine.


  11. Candy
    Dec 06, 2016 @ 23:20:57

    Oh, this really tugged at my heart.


  12. Bodhirose
    Dec 07, 2016 @ 00:20:20

    So saddened by how many of our parents return to being like children again. So very, very bittersweet, Toni. Warm hugs for you. xo


  13. Misky
    Dec 07, 2016 @ 07:36:37

    Oh, the pain in this is so intense.


  14. Waltermarks
    Dec 07, 2016 @ 13:11:46

    That compelling verse. My mom thought I was her priest toward the end of her life. It sounds like you are baking up what the doctor ordered for her


  15. lillian
    Dec 07, 2016 @ 16:22:23

    Oh Toni…..this is so beautiful. Especially in the knowing about the relationship between your mama and you right now. This is painful, yes….but, and I think I’m probably not explaining it well, in a beautiful way. It is the mother child relationship that shifts so the child is doing the mothering — and so much more as a parent gets infirm and somehow becomes more childlike in their questions, their actions…and becomes more fragile in their frame.
    This is truly beautiful, Toni.


  16. Victoria C. Slotto
    Dec 07, 2016 @ 19:19:04

    Tears. Dementia is so cruel to those of us who love its victims. One upside, usually the person so afflicted doesn’t hurt as much as we did. When I trained nursing assistants, I tried to remember that while the person may not remember from one minute to the next, we can make sure each moment is happy for them. That is our job…though it’s important to take care of yourself. I’m preaching.


  17. Raivenne
    Dec 07, 2016 @ 21:14:14

    damn Tony, I am floored by this.Painful and poignant and yetso beautifully penned.


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