Recipes for Remembrance

Gnarled arthritic fingers slowly unfurl

accept the dog-eared folder

each page foxed with age…

and the remnants of culinary splashes –

clouded eyes peer

brow furrows, trying to recall…

Your recipe book, Mum.

pages filled with neat script

sections separated by thick pastel card

my childhood leaps out at me

Do you remember, Mum, that cooking teacher

who dismissed my cake because it cracked on top?

What would she know? You scoffed, looks good to me.

 

lips curl at the edges…

 

And the almonds, Mum – I wanted to eat some

They’re not for eating, they’re for the Christmas cake, you said

Don’t we eat the cake? I countered

We rehashed that joke every Christmas

 

Lips curl a little more… eyes meet mine

 

Your scones were the best, Mum

mine like bricks, could have built a house!

 

Did I detect a snigger?

 

Anzac biscuits, choc-chip, ginger snaps

Lunchbox staples… I still make them, Mum

 

Tongue slowly licks thoughtful lips

 

Ki-Si-Min, Chop Suey… we pretended to be Chinese

though we ate with Splayds

 

Yes, that was a snigger!

 

What about your Ginger Fluff? The first empty plate

at family get-togethers.

 

A giggle?

 

Meatloaf, curry, egg and bacon pie

Lemon pudding, marble cake, chocolate slice…

 

head nods

 

eyes begin to close

I gently prise the folder from her grip

kiss her sleepy forehead

turn back at the door

her head raises, she grins

p…p…pavlova… she stammers

 

recipes for remembrance

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