Poetry and Gravy


I’m not sure if Mom ever actually wrote poetry. She definitely was a terrific story teller, which hundreds of now grown-up kids can confirm. And she wrote tight accounts of her childhood, and of God’s remarkable provision for our family over several generations. She was skilled at oil painting, and flowers were always happy to grow for her.

The reference to a “dying perfectionist” is self-referential. I usually refer to myself as a “recovering perfectionist.” It’s a gift and curse I inherited more from Dad. He and I enjoyed discussing Robert Browning’s difficult “Rabbi Ben Ezra.” We never discussed the kind of loose-form poetry that I write. Would he approve? I’m not sure….

Back to Mom. She was an artist. Truly. I grew up understanding that she had a gift I will never possess (although she, like other artists would insist that I could possess it, if only I tried).

My work on poetry has been an attempt to reach honestly into my heart, and then to express clearly what ugliness and beauty that I find. Bacon grease, milk, flour, salt and pepper…. Stir, but not too much. The gravy emerges, slightly different each time, but always a perfect complement to homemade bisquits.

Speaking of which…. Where are the bisquits?

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