Friday, November 26, 2021

Poetry Sisters Write Odes to Autumn

This month's challenge was to write an ode to autumn. Fall is my favorite season, but I had a hard time thinking of topics, especially since the early directive was "not nature." If you can't write about nature, what DO you write about fall?

I did a little brainstorming and listed the things I love about this season and the events that mark it. I started to think about Thanksgiving and holiday rituals and before I knew it I was writing about a family recipe that only ever sees the light of day in fall. So, I may not have followed the rules precisely, but I do have a draft of a poem.

Ode to a Thanksgiving Recipe

The paper is well-worn
yellowed with age and
stained with splatters
from years of placing it
near a busy stove

It is sentimentally retrieved
each Thanksgiving
carefully unfolded, pressed flat
it has been taped and re-taped
along the seams
it was even ironed once in
a misguided attempt to
remove wrinkles
the singed edge still
haunts me

Copied in my mother's hand
her penmanship identical to
so many of her generation
I can picture her at the kitchen table
copying it from a women's magazine
on the back of a recycled
school lunch menu

I'll admit it's not
my favorite dish
yet I make it every year
my November love letter
to home, to holidays past
to my mom

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 
Would you like to try the next challenge? We're writing about bells. That's it, no specified form, just the subject of bells.  We hope you'll join us. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on December 31st (that's New Year's Eve, so plan ahead) in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems! 

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town. Happy poetry Friday friends.


  1. Awwwww...I love this, from the singed edge to the recycled lunch menu to the fact that you don't even like the end result that much. (And thank you for inspiring me to write about a recipe also.)

  2. I missed the "not nature" directive. Oh, well. Like Sara, you inspired me to add mom's cranberry jello to my "Angry Ode," which, after reading Ruth's, will now be known as my "Truth-Telling Ode."

    I can related so much to this poem and your comments. I got a funny look from a chef who asked what I would pick if I could only eat from one genre of food for the rest of my life. I said casseroles. That is the food I was raised on and it is those recipes that keep me connected to Mom and Home.

  3. Love that you don't tell us what the recipe is, and we have to sort through our own histories for clues. Maybe it's creamed onions . . .

  4. I love the 'picturing', Tricia, in your loving poem. Those things in our mind's eye will never be lost. Thanks for the reminder of our special recipes, in "penmanship identical to
    so many of her generation" - yes!

  5. It's so true that there was such a of penmanship that ran true in earlier generations -- maybe because they were all taught the same copperplate? Maybe because they all used cursive? It almost seems as if handwriting isn't as ...familial anymore.

    This is such an image that so many of us share, spattered, yellowed, kept safe: the recipe to our hearts. Lovely. ♥

  6. "my November love letter" is a beautiful thought related to this recipe.

  7. I think to those of us raised on "the word," for whom reading and writing were honored, something about the texture of those handwritten scraps and sheets and notebooks is built into our cells along with the love. I'm dying to know what the recipe actually is, but Janice is right--it doesn't matter; it's the object, the process, the recreation of a repeated moment. Mmmm.

  8. I can just picture this recipe, Tricia. What a lovely ode.

  9. What a lovely poem. I can see this recipe in my mind and in my mother's handwriting. This makes me want to go cook something! Thanks for sharing it here.