Thursday, March 12, 2009

Three Women

[This week Read Write Poem encouraged us to write about eating, cooking, dreaming about eating, and more.
keep a running list of what you eat, what you cook, what you dream about eating, what you refuse to cook, what you wish someone would cook for you. Then, come back next week and tantalize our taste buds.
This has been spinning around the back of my mind this week. If some of the references have you a bit lost, look for information on the Jewish holiday, Purim.]

Three Women

Folding circles of dough into triangular cookies
I think of Esther, Queen Esther in long-ago Persia,
and I think of Ethel, my grandmother,
whose Hebrew name was Esther. I didn't know
either woman, I just heard stories.

As I fold soft dough over apricots
or almonds I think about the apron I used
as a child, the one my dad said belonged
to my grandmother. Now it is folded
in my closet, and I think it was not much used
by her, no old stains or repairs. It must
have been one of many, or folded away
to keep it nice.

I don't have her recipe for hamantaschen,
though she must have made them. She did,
after all, run a kosher household in Crown Heights.
I gather scraps of information like scraps of
dough, hoping to press together enough pieces
to make a whole. Surely she folded
and pressed edges over prune or poppy seed filling,
and surely she thought about Queen Esther.

I doubt Queen Esther made cookies,
but doubtless she ate ones filled with
apricots or almonds, like the tender, golden
triangles I take from the cooling rack, and pack
between folded layers of wax paper.


Raven's Wing Poetry said...

I like this. This reminds me of my own grandmother -- I know so little about her, too.

I especially like these lines:

"I gather scraps of information like scraps of
dough, hoping to press together enough pieces
to make a whole."

The Nobleman


This blog managed by Erin Davis said...

I love the recurring images of folding and gathering. They are so motherly (or grandmotherly) somehow. I feel many of the same emotions about my grandmother when making Irish soda bread.

Lovely. Thanks for sharing it!

sister AE said...

Thanks, Nicole. It wasn't in my first draft, but once I thought of that image it HAD to stay in somehow.

Hello, Erin. I'm glad this connected with you. Thanks.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I like the way you fold together the cooking and the other elements of the narrative

sister AE said...

Thanks, Juliet.