MAKING TAFFY WITH MARGARET

Written by: Nola Perez

Sugary mix roiling in a saucepan in the heart
of the house: a light-filled kitchen where family meals
were taken in lieu of the dining room, thought of by me
in two words: 'formality' and 'dark', whereas, windows
and a glass door in the kitchen let in light, led out to a porch,
then into a fenced backyard where chickens ran free, and 
Yes, necks were wrung for the kitchen pot in not
a rural setting, but a beach-town, in-town backyard---
not at a cottage, calling out to salt spray and seagulls, 
but a Victorian house, looming gray in memory, large
with a wraparound porch, its rocking chairs
facing a quiet street framed with sheltering trees:
maples of the intricate bark and heart-shaped leaves,
providing play place for games of Red Robin, May I,
Hide and Seek, until at summer dusk the welcome call
of Come Home, Come Home.  No small screen there 
to distract us, not yet the turbulent news of a world at
war A World Away.  Instead, candy making in the kitchen.
Taffy pulled and twisted into ropes, cut into pieces and 
left to harden on waxed paper. Then, Margaret, two 
older sisters and a brother, upstairs to bed, a ramp 
leading to bedrooms for them, an adjoining room below 
for Margaret and me, her best-friend guest.  Bathroom 
to share, old-fashioned claw-foot tub, enameled in
porcelain.  A doomed wasp sometimes caught in 
golden window light between glass and a cream colored
pulldown shade.   Past our bedroom, an enclosed
porch rose over its downstairs compatriot, meandering 
the entire length of the house.  All things unneeded
and used-up there, for the playtime delight of 
Margaret and me: Not used-up yet