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.
Meatloaf, curry, egg and bacon pie
Lemon pudding, marble cake, chocolate slice…
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