The Pie

The rhubarb leaves, ruffled fans waving from rosy
fingers, signal his daughters like marine flags
on the ship, to man the battle stations of piedom.

From childhood, they watched him head to the garden
after work, in dress shoes, shirt and tie, to pluck
the sour stalks, one by one, from an earthen deck.

He showed them the proper, two-handed pull––yank,
then he brushed off the dirt. Sometimes, after a rain,
he would clean the stalks outside with the hose,

muddy water pooling around his Florsheim shoes,
before rescuing the dripping stems into the kitchen.
Cutting board and knife prepared, he demonstrated

the chopping technique that he learned “in the Orient,”
blue eyes crinkling as he scraped the red and green
crescents into the Pyrex bowl used for such things.

And they watched and learned and baked his pies.
The first rhubarb pie of the season was for his birthday,
marking the start of the growing season, bleeding hearts,

hostas and hummingbirds.  He inspected their crusts,
breaking through the top with his fork, and eyed
the interior strata like a geologist inspecting rock layers.

The daughters roll the dough on floured cloths from separate
kitchens now.  Fluting edges with pink polished nails,
they each bake one pie a year, weaving a salute into the crust.

© 2011 Kim King


About k2king

Francophile, writer, poet, and mother of Samoyeds
This entry was posted in My poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Pie

  1. one pie each year,

    very rich thoughts, well done.

  2. Jingle says:

    How are you?
    Please consider making a contribution to poets rally week 43 today,
    A free verse is appreciated, you rock!
    See you soon.
    Happy Thursday!
    love your input at poetry potluck.
    Placing your blog link in Jingle Poetry Blog Roll by Sunday..

  3. Jingle says:

    it is super sweet when you bake a pie at home, share with the ones you love,

    Happy Rally.

  4. K. McGee says:

    This is a lovely poetic story. It makes me want to drop what I’m doing and tend to my own garden. How easy it is to forget that we can create these traditions through everyday actions.

  5. Isabel says:

    “weaving a salute into the crust” -great visual. great poem. wish I knew how to make a pie.

  6. What a lovely tribute..the pie making and this poem. He must be proud and happy:-)

  7. Evelyn says:

    crystal clear, I see the garden, I see the kitchen, I see the pie inspection.
    sad and pretty and good and sweet and bitter…
    love pie.

  8. WyomingDiva says:

    Lovely memory. I have similar ones in my writing about my mother. Well done.

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