Tuesday, 27 June 2017

How to make a good pumpkin pie

by Grace Marie Grafton

It’s near Thanksgiving. In her anguish
she wishes to conjure a narrative that would
lure the family out of their parallel distractions,
their cold slumber. How many hands
carry the small memories?
Did Dad really hunt that deer,
did Grandpa grapple with the thief
under the sycamore, was there
the gleam of a gun? Nothing as serious
as murder but never the lifting of the rug.
Her aunt wept but turned her head away,
everyone knew whose baby
it was, but portraits weren’t
allowed and nobody asked for filet mignon.

So she hauls out the cloud shawl
to cover the nicks in the diningroom table,
harvests pomegranates, unstitches
the web that veils the doorway.
A display of brushes and paints,
watercolor paper in a pile, an old record
of children’s shouts and laughter in the yard
under the tarpaulin. Her nephews –
their daring percussion, her daughters
braiding and unbraiding everyone’s hair.

* * * * *

"How to make a good pumpkin pie" was first published in Sin Fronteras.

Grace Marie Grafton is the author of six collections of poems, most recently 'Jester,' published by Hip Pocket Press. She has taught thousands of children to write poetry through her work with CA Poets in the Schools.

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