Wooden Bowl

"Two dollars" in pencil on the Mohegan Trail
For a wooden bowl, one fluid scuplted curve of
Something hard (maple or birch or ash).
My grandmother nicked and scraped it over years
With the steel vegetable chopper her grandfather
Fashioned from a spade.
She scraped, scraped, scraped, scraped, scraped
Maine into soups, stews.  "Two dollars" in pencil,
Clear after 20 years' use and 17 in a
Cardboard box under crumpled bits of newspaper
Coated yet with the tallow of broiled steaks and chops.
My grandmother kept the bowl near the gas stove
With its broiler, well, four burners, two ovens.
That was her mother's stove, cast iron, still working
Somewhere even now.  They were proud of it,
What you can keep if you take care over time.
There is nothing like a well-seasoned gas stove.
I smell ancient dinners in the newspaper.
Then, I press the paper into a loose ball,
Toss it aside,
And put in twelve new Macintosh apples,
Grown local.

Originally published November 2000 in the Paumanok Review.

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  1. Finely constructed. Authenticity. Nice finish!

  2. All the best to you, dear!


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