Ma could bake,
pies, bread, English muffins
the smell of her baking, incense
to my nose as I walked in
on a cold fall day
as the first frosts appeared.
The kitchen was warm
as she stood there
pulling out another batch
of freshly baked cookies.
Shortly after my marriage
I needed to learn
how to make an apple pie
with crust made from scratch
so I went to her, flour in hand
show me how, don’t do, show
I asked and we went step by step.
Measuring flour, cutting in shortening
rolling out the dough, placing in pie pan
slicing apples, just right, not too thin
cinnamon, sugar, a little flour
mixing them in the apples
then placing the mix into the shell
covering it all with rolled out dough
she showed how to crimp the edges
just using a basic fork, a quick wash
then into the oven it went.
Now as I stand in my own kitchen
on a late fall afternoon
with the air crisp and cool
and leaves falling on the ground
I go through the motions
she taught me long ago
as I cut in the shortening
roll out the dough, prepare the apples
the scent of it all baking
the incense of my youth returned.