Friday, August 23, 2013

Granny's Pantry # 4: Granny Cole at home

Granny's Pantry # 4


Farm house standing a century
Down the cedar-lined dirt lane.
Peacocks and guineas greeted comers
Or warned homefolks.      

Granny’s bedroom—safe in storms
When the lights went out for good.
Clean white cloths on the table
Boiled potatoes
Corn off the cob
Chicken fresh from the yard and fried
Churned butter—ripe fruit jelly
The biscuits...Oh, the biscuits!

Flour scented pantry                            

Flowed with homemade treasures-
Sweet muscadine wine
Homemade grape juice
Pound cake to smear with peanut butter
Peanuts to parch
Strawberry custard pies—my favorite
Blackberries picked by the calf pasture.
She served all that
And rich harvest soup. 

Out in the garden                   

Orange and yellow gladiolas waited
To enter and stand tall in crystal vases.
May-pops mid rows begged to be burst.
Butter beans shelled ‘til our nails were sore.
Family feasts—                                                                                             

Table sagged from one more covered dish.   
Granny could do anything and make it look easy.
Milk cows – make soap
Stuff sausage at killing time
Cook hog fat for cracklins and lard
Talk politics
Piece quilts
Sell eggs to the neighbors
Sew fine fashions from feed sacks
Boil Granddaddy’s muddy clothes in a pot in the yard
Shuck corn
Kill varmints
Pluck chickens
Feed wheat threshers
Take in boarders building the dam.                       

----  ------  ----
I could do anything, too.
With her, I was free.
Stay up half the night watching old movies
Sleep ‘til ten and eat cake for breakfast.
Only 1 rule: “Don’t stand on the well!”
I did and lived to tell.
Auctions and revivals
Sunday afternoon visits and church.
Christmas stockings embroidered with my name
Filled with soap and walnuts,
Toothpaste, an orange.
----  ------  ----

       My granny could do anything but live when she could do nothing more.
Faced with the thought of that…
She said goodbye.           

Well reported of for good works;
if she have brought up children,
if she have lodged strangers,
if she have washed the saints' feet,
if she have relieved the afflicted,
if she have diligently followed every good work.


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