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
one pie each year,
very rich thoughts, well done.
Thanks! It’s one of my favorite traditions!
How are you?
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love your input at poetry potluck.
Placing your blog link in Jingle Poetry Blog Roll by Sunday..
it is super sweet when you bake a pie at home, share with the ones you love,
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.
“weaving a salute into the crust” -great visual. great poem. wish I knew how to make a pie.
It’s really not that difficult. Just takes some practice.
Glad you liked it.
What a lovely tribute..the pie making and this poem. He must be proud and happy:-)
Yes, we think he’s happy…looking down on us from heaven:)
crystal clear, I see the garden, I see the kitchen, I see the pie inspection.
sad and pretty and good and sweet and bitter…
Glad you visited. I made one yesterday as a matter of fact.
Lovely memory. I have similar ones in my writing about my mother. Well done.
Thanks! I made a pie yesterday and I’ll try to post the photo. Takes me back to my childhood.