Truly, I’d say eat whatever she cooks
because one day she’ll be gone.
She and her recipes, written down
in disintegrating leather-bound books,
pages held in-situ with rubber bands,
recipes written in foreign words,
in quick short back-slanting strokes,
in measurements that use her
mother-in-law’s chipped teacup,
and another measurement often
referred to as a scant knife edge,
and kneading dough until springy
means doing so with fused-arthritic
fingers, she’s poised like a panther.
She’s gone now, gone with her
recipes that she kept in her head,
secret ingredients coded, omitted,
a scant knife edge hiding from sight.
But I have her pots, I have her pans,
her favourite wooden spoon, and
that chipped china teacup.
And I have her leather-bound book,
but not those secret ingredients.
for Poetic Bloomings, MIL’s Cooking © Misky 2020. Image is from Orlando di Lasso, Septem psalmi poenitentiales, München 1565 (BSB, Mus.ms. A I, p. 27)