Friday, April 22, 2011

Non-Mother's Day Poem

It rolls around, a pebble in my shoe.
That tiny small ache that reminds me of you.

Ah sweet scent, the smell of your perfume
I have bought some to wear in my hair.
I hear the song that caused you to dance
Vibrations of movement traipse through the floor

Ice cubes tinkle in your glass,
accentuating the rhythm of the twang and hwa of a slide guitar.

The air carries warmth, sun-dappled flowers and dirt,
green and trees, life and worms and love and sweat.

And again, this year, you are not here
New life, old life, new world just bursting forth.

Oh mother, dear mother, oh mother o’ mine.
Say a prayer for all of us, the ones you left behind.

*Yes, that is a picture of my mother who died many years ago.
I think I look a bit like her. Do you agree?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Life in Ten Dishes...

My life in ten dishes – I may have had some difficulty with sticking with 10.

I love to net surf and found this idea on this website:

1. A glass of water – I know it seems silly, but it was when I realized my mother was blind. She couldn’t see the glass, and I had to tell her where to put her hand so she could get it. It was to the left. Now this may not be a big deal to you all, but my mother died about 3 weeks after I turned 4 years old. It is really the only visual memory I have of her alive. I remember the sound of ice cubes in her glass of tea.

2. Cheese sandwich – I lived in a home where I was always afraid. I used to sneak chease sandwiches up to my bedroom.

3. Sausage, biscuits, and gravy – yes it is to one dish! My grandfather used to make these for me. I’d get up and the smell was all through the house! I loved it. It was my favorite food.

4. Salad with peanut butter dressing – I don’t know how she did it, but my grandma got me to eat salad by making some weird peanut butter dressing on it. The lettuce was wilted – like when you put something hot on lettuce, not because it was old. She was a pretty clever lady!

5. Donato’s pizza – wheat crust with broccoli and mushrooms. University. I was discovering myself… and what wasn’t really good on pizza.

6. Cheese plate with apples – on my own. I started to go out to restaurants. I discovered REAL cheese! Brie melted or made like a pie over apples, hard parmesan. This was when I learned the joys of olive oil, freshly ground pepper, crusty bread that is soft and warm in the middle, and ghee.

7. Take out Chinese food – this always seemed the epitome of “urban”… those little white boxes, eating with chopsticks, drinking tea. It very well could be that Chinatown, Philadelphia may have been the impetus for my beginning to travel.

8. Espresso, yogurt, fruit for breakfast. I went to Paris. Enough said.

9. Waffles – When I bought my house, I began to have fairly regular brunches. My waffles were always a big hit. The secret? Let the batter set overnight so that it can rise.

10. I don’t remember the meal, but I remember the wine. My Michael and I and a number of his gay man friends went to a BYOB in Pittsburgh. He invited the chef to join us for a glass of wine which she did. She gave us a passionate rendition of a bawdy Irish song to thank us for the wine. What an amazing night!

11. Ceviche – In Peru, I went to a restaurant and ordered this spicy raw fish dish that is “cooked” in lime juice. My goodness it is amazing! At the restaurant, I walked past the kitchen on my way to the bathroom. I couldn’t speak a lick of Spanish, but after washing my hands, I knocked on the door and motioned to the chef… I asked him if he would teach me to make it. He graciously did. I bought him a glass of wine, and I ate this wonderful dish al fresco in a plaza in Lima, Peru.

12. Turkey Reuben – Aunt Ceil and I always go out to one particular restaurant, and I always get this. It is like a girls’ day out. I find those days with Aunt Ceil a treasure.

13. Gimbop – Korean sushi. It’s cheap, yummy, pretty healthy if you get it at the right place. I go to a place that has fresh veggies and they put almost no rice in it. I love the salt of the nori and the crunch of the veggies with a bit of tuna for protein. It’s a “fast food” but it’s great! Downside – I have had food poisoning from it. I couldn’t eat it for a LONG time. Now? All better!

*foto - Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia, PA, USA (Yes, I took that pic)