Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Carol Spear Stewart

 

Cornbread

We meet in the kitchen,
my daughters and I, gather
cornmeal, milk, and eggs,
baking soda and salt,
along with our memories of her,
mix everything together
just like she would,
just right.

As the oven heats,
we bring corn oil to sizzling
in her big cast iron skillet,
then spoon the thick, yellow
mixture in.

We pass around our stories
while we wait,
while we wonder
how many birds and squirrels,
how many rabbits, dogs, and cats
feasted on all
the cornbread she made.

Time waits until
the sweet, warm smells
wrap golden all around us,
carry us on a stream
of honeyed memories
out into the yard,
under the tallest trees.

We lift up our cornbread
for blessing.
In remembrance of her,
we break the bread,
still warm and fragrant,
and leave the pieces
scattered on the ground.

 

Blue Pitcher

Around the tables of
four generations,
this blue pitcher
has passed
from hand to hand.

As a child,
she found it
in a five and dime,
a gift for her mother.

Now there is
no other thing
I would pass on
to my own daughters,
than this pitcher
the grandmother
I barely knew
first filled with
fresh brewed tea,

this plain blue pitcher
that holds our stories
together,
my mother's gift
to me.

***

Carol Spear Stewart is a published writer of poetry and non-fiction, as well as a former magazine editor. She is an active member of the Grey Mules Writers Group and the Amen Southern Revelation Sisterhood in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

© Carol Spear Stewart

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012