Alone in my kitchen, snow outside my window
My heart returns to winters past, where a little girl
Stands beside Gramma, the other one…
From Germany, who grew her garden,
Vegetables and plum trees, peach trees, and pears.
Grapes on the trellis, elderberry, raspberry.
She cooked all the time, warm breads, stollen,
From the old country, her talents were keen
And she knew how to use every piece of every food
Like God gave every flower a color.
Wild or harrowed to delight the flesh, soothe the soul.
Onions and rock candy in hot syrup for ear aches
Sugar and oil for coughs, unless there was honey.
Spatzel by hand, and chickens from the coop.
My favorite came from the lowly potato.
She would stand and grate, and grate, and grate.
One potato at a time, resembling lumpy soup
It turned to pink for some strange reason I never knew
And with her magic she would begin to pour scoops
Of liquid potato into her big black heavy cast iron pan
And the tantalizing aromas began to fill her kitchen.
And Grampa would come in from work
Uncle would come in from chores
And I would get the chair at the back of the table
Against the wall.
And Gramma would place
Crispy brown sizzling potato pancakes
And I would eat.