I am

the taste of vanilla
melting into a concoction
of pecans and bliss
on Thanksgiving
when the warmth
of family is rising
like homemade bread.

The laughter plumes into the air,
and I smell the stale cigarettes
on my Mother’s hands
as she kneads the dough  –
their strength molding my world.
A twinkle of teeth flash
through open mouths
as a symphony of guitars
crescendo in a sense of urgency.

These are the moments I remember
while I lie in bed wrapped
in the warm embrace
of my mother’s cashmere blanket.
Salty tears catch at the corner of my mouth
and the bitterness
of these life moments irrevocably lost
stings like the wooly worms
I stepped on as a child.

“Baby girl, you need to stop worrying.
Dry your tears.  It’ll sting like hell today,
but in the morning it’ll feel better.”
If I close my eyes tight enough,
I can still smell her hair, freshly washed,
as she bent down to kiss
my seven year old foot.

In this moment I can taste
the bittersweet mix of
3 Musketeers, Dr. Pepper, pain medication,
and the release of a final labored breath.
In this moment I remember
she is
and I am.

Featured Image: Pixabay – “Heart” by castleguard (CC0 Public Domain)

Elise Lifting the Sun

“What if hearts were made of waffles?” Elise mused, her pigtails bobbing slightly as syrup from the bottle pooled on her plate and drizzled over the side from the unsteadiness of hands not quite as big as the questions she posed.

“Well, then love would be as deliciously sweet as you are,” I replied, dipping my finger in powdered sugar and adding a slight dusting to her cherub nose.

The scent of sugar and the late Sunday morning sun formed an amnesiac aura around the kitchen of our one bedroom apartment, impregnating the space with the peace of forgetfulness; tomorrow it will rain, papers will be washed in ink, and the acrid earthy smell of a life that was promised will drown out the candied moments of family memories shared around the breakfast table, but for now, I had waffles and syrup and Elise asking big questions that have hard answers all while lifting up the sun with her little hands.

In response to: Three Line Tales – Week Fifty-Four
Featured Image: Roman Kraft via Unsplash
Special thanks to Sonya at  Only 100 Words for organizing and curating these Three Line Tales every week.

Family Fruit

“The best families have fruit, some sweet like berries and some sour like citrus, a few nuts for variety, the grains of flour holding us all together, a splash of rum to warm the spirit, but the best part is the proverbial cherry on top – that’s you my dear,” Granny smiled as she delicately sliced the loaf.

I smiled up at her, briefly acknowledged her musings, and turned back to the text messages on my phone, oblivious to the allusion she made; Granny always drank while she was baking, and the more she drank, the more she tended to speak in innuendos and vague metaphors and the more people tended to smile at her good natured ramblings ignoring their true meaning.

It’s been six years since Granny baked her last fruitcake and ruminated on the spirits of Christmases past; it’s been seven years since I put on the apron taking my place beside the stove, kneading breads, baking cakes, making candy, and drinking rum – the cherry hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

In response to: Three Line Tales, Week Forty-Seven
Featured Image: Jennifer Pallian via Unsplash (CC0 Public Domain)
Special thanks to  Sonya at Only 100 Words for organizing and curating these Three Line Tales every week.