Everyone wants the grandmother of spices
mixing jazz in the kitchen,
wide-hip wiggling to a simmering pan.

I’d like a memory of a woman like that,
but my grandmother was top forty,
baked chicken, mashed potatoes,

industrial peas decorating
the plate that I snuck to my pocket
or flipped to the dog,

and a worked-up straight-up cake
spared the joy of icing.
She shared her recipes,

kept nothing hidden except sex,
encouraged me to read,
shared no special wisdom

other than what the Bible and a book
could inform, encouraged me
in the way that a door swings

both ways, take me in
and let me go, simple, pure,
repeatable wisdom,

some of which I lost in the siphon
of life, but now, in chaos,
keep going back to find.

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