A Poem for the Morning...
Le Matin by Jenny Wonderling
In goes the cup of flour, not measured too carefully because there’s no need.
The cup of milk, a pinch of salt, the egg.
The whisk turns, moving in among what is separate, the soft organic bits against this cold foreign thing
You do all this without thinking, some deeper part of you knowing what to do, what is next, though you may have forgotten
You are heating the cast iron pan just right, the square of butter, it’s soft warmth moving now within the rest
What were mere islands and difference is lost to itself, smooth and flowing
A bit more butter in the pan, and then the batter, just thin enough, and you shift it in your puppeteer hand that knows the weight of the metal, the heat
Until a smooth sheet rests, then gently bubbles,
Your mother, grandmothers and those before them are suddenly flanking you, little inflections in the ghosts of their voices you long to actually hear
You move the weight of the metal over the heat, all of you carrying it, part of the alchemy, until it’s time.
Downside up, familiar patches of golden, cooked to perfection, that smell of mothers and warmth, until it is on the plate for your young son
Strawberry jam within, rolled as they would have, with a hint of a lemon’s sour juice, a dusting of powdered sugar and love
How did you forget this simple important recipe, you wonder, as he licks his lips and sticky fingers,
You listen to the purr of, “that’s my favorite,” as your older sons used to do,
“It’s a crepe,” you say. “That’s what it’s called. From France, where your grandmothers came from, my father’s mother; your father’s mother…”
He is 6
Your other boys are now so tall you must look high above you to meet their strong gazes
And time smashes up against you there at the stove, jolts you into the morning, THAT moment, and you feel a swell of gratitude anyway for what you may have lost and for what you didn’t
Knowing that you tucked away more than a recipe for too many years, too much laughter, and more
But you also quietly planted seeds that needed time to grow
Just as the women of your line knew to, knowing when the time would be just right to reclaim the recipes of joy, of wholeness
Standing alone at the throne of the stove, and helping the day to begin.
Note: Plates featured are from our Nkuku Fair Trade Biviri Ceramic Dinnerware Collection