Day 17

Aunt Lora Mae raised my father, maybe
unwillingly, resenting, after Grandmother died.

To achieve the desired –
silky velvet mouthfeel smooth

The black and white pictures of his youth
disguise the stories of his dirt road South

in a carrot puree,
one must remove the fibrous core.

Dad said he was lucky to get out-
not very many did.

The simplest approach is to cut away
shaving arcs of flesh from the sunburst core.

Years later, Aunt Lora Mae, spinster, came to live with us,
fed me caramel apples and popcorn balls,

But the blade is straight, and the
carrot round – no arc strips all the flesh

secret sugars; yet housecoats, curled hair, cat-eye glasses,
and stern looks are what I remember most.

away, and thriftiness is a virtue.
But split the core, cut the diameter,

When Lora Mae lay in her casket,
it was a warm day in January, and Joe,

angle the knife just so, and out! pops
the core, clean, leaving pockmarks where roots spread out.

disheveled, unshorn, perhaps drunk, burst in,
“Muriel! I always loved you!”

A trail of growth and underground life.
Aunt Lora Mae (Muriel) was a war bride first.

Prompt today was to tell a family anecdote. I’ve been cooking all day, and was thinking about the various tendrils of family stories as I prepped carrots and parsnips for purees. I think this is one that I will continue to work on.

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