A setting sun passes
under blighted boxwoods
and through rippled windows
onto the antebellum beams
from which hang black skillets over
handcut stacked and loam mortared stones
that my mother rests her arm on
as motes locked in light
foreground her white blouse
and gingham apron
as she takes my words
and writes them in ink
like hieroglyphics on a square of
construction paper
thick and pulpy
so that the ink runs
through the creases
splaying like small papyrus stalked deltas
as her lines and cursive curves connect
into wholes of meaning
        white bread, mustard, relish,
        muenster and sausages on half,
        on the other half sardines
        (briny and bisected down the pearly blue belly)
        remember to give me a napkin, mom
inscribed forever and left as a bookmark
in the yellow spine of The Silver Palate.

Photo by Sheila Holzer
Photo by Sheila Holzer

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