I had a wonderful time at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest this past weekend. One of the highlights was sitting in on a poetry session with Max Garland, former poet laureate of Wisconsin and native of Kentucky. It’s been too long since I focused on my first love–poetry–and I had fun considering the poetry of place.
Which led me to realize something. I haven’t shared my FAVORITE poem (of mine) on this blog before. It was published in Appalachian Heritage way back in 2006. And I STILL love it.
So here you go.
SAD STREAKS AND WEEPY MERINGUES
Illness, death, disease and even divorce
bring out the mixing bowls, the spoons,
the flour, the sugar and the speckled brown eggs.
Good women converge in kitchens on far
sides of town, all for the expression
of love and sorrow, sadness and hope.
They consult stained cookbooks, faded cards
and memories sharpened with use to concoct
something that will stave off the hunger for
knowing what comes next—what comes
after we get through this . . .
And when the pound cake isn’t quite done,
with a soft, moist middle that invites us
to sink down and find an almost peace—
When the sugar in the meringue doesn’t
quite melt, and caramel drops bloom like
smoky topaz tears—That’s when love
and sadness meet the perfect measure,
filling our sorrowing hearts,
if only for a mouthful.