I flip through the red recipe book,
pulling the ragged paper, stained with Thanksgivings past
and set it on my counter.
Soon my knife is sliding through onions,
little white dices fall into a pile.
It is rhythmic, meditative, despite the many details swirling through my mind.
Celery green soon joins the mirepoix.
Scraping these tiny gems to the side,
I am nine years old, back in Des Moines,
watching my mother pull white Wonder Bread
from a bag with red, blue and yellow balloons-
scattering them on cookie sheets across our kitchen counter
to dry for hours.
Torn into pieces with fingers freshly painted with peach polish,
the dry bread is gently tossed in the pink and white Pyrex bowl
that now holds mine…
With her own her tiny gems, S&P, sage, a sprinkle of water
and copious amounts of butter.
The memory makes me smile,
and wish more than anything,
I could step back into that kitchen and slip my young arms around her.
My turkey waits on the stove,
stuffed, dressed and lovingly coated with butter.
I turn the oven to 325.
The click of the gas brings unexpected tears,
All at once, I am not alone in the silence of this kitchen,
but gathered with the visions of Gram, Nana, Mom, June and all the moms before me,
adorned in aprons,
who on many similar crisp fall days
slid their knives through onions and celery,
making tiny gems of their own.
Hours spent prepping, stirring, baking.
Creating all the little delicious details which passed on their love
through the comforting scent of turkey tickling noses just in from the cold,
plates piled high with stuffing,
gravy dripping over every scoop.
I can see their smiles,
smell their perfume,
and feel their love.
I am so grateful.
Happy heavenly Thanksgiving.
How I miss you all.