Tuesday, April 09, 2019

NPM 2019 Day 9: Bittersweet Memories of Mary

In 2010 I wrote a poem for Jama Rattigan's Poetry Potluck series. I've since dusted off that poem and revised it. The new version is a bit tighter than the original, and a little bit better. It is about my grandmother. That's me and her in the photo.

Bittersweet Memories of Mary
I am a generous baker
the polar opposite of my grandmother
who stood in the kitchen, strings
of a yellow flowered apron wrapped
twice around her tiny waist
and tied in the front

She slowly added the ingredients
weary hands stirring and beating
the confection into beautiful smoothness
while the pièce de résistance
sat off to the side in a
small, unremarkable bowl

Frugal as ever, this woman who
shepherded a family through the
Depression, a son through the War
dropped small dollops of dough
onto the cookie sheet, then
pressed three chips into each one

I am a generous baker
pouring an entire bag of chips
into the dough, ensuring each bite
oozes chocolate, not disappointment

I gaze heavenward each time I
bake them, whispering
half-hearted apologies

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

Happy Tuesday all. See you tomorrow for another original poem.


  1. I also like this update. She was stingy in your sight at the time, but understanding softens the edges of that - what you are - and your generous interpretation of her - is more important than what you saw her to be.

    Three chocolate chips in my family would have been more about "it's not good for you, you don't need the extra sugar, it acts like caffeine in your system, you kids are hyper enough." And that's why we had CAROB instead of chocolate. ☺ And I resented the heck out of it, too...

    1. CAROB?! That's sacrilege! Now my grandma doesn't look so bad ...

  2. Fun to read both poems -- I like your revised version. I still think about my aunt when I read this poem -- she was "stingy" with ingredients as well as the finished product.