Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

In the Bones

April 4, 2012

I had your chicken-and-dumplings today
prepared with care
by your great-granddaughter
for your great-great-granddaughters
and you’ll never guess where…
here in Virginia

not following your recipe
since you didn’t leave us one
following rather your technique:
good stock
plenty of time
lots of pepper
tender dumplings
made with fresh chicken fat
a light touch
and lots of love

you taught us the secret
is in the bones:
whole fresh birds
from the butcher in Waukegan
simmered for hours
flavor from marrow

now it’s in our bones
tasting it, I was transported
to a cloud of witnesses
Grandpa Dupin is there
Gramp, too
both of them
eating and joking
with equal aplomb

by the fifth bite
my brain murmured to me
about how nice it would be
to taste Shirl’s ice cream
would you like a cone,
or a malt?
We’ll go get some
after supper

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