At Grandmother's Table circa 1948 by Wilda Morris

Taste by Patridge Boswell

Lullaby by Edward Mayes

Shakespeare by James B. Nicola

Summer Night by Diane Giardi

100 Words on My Father with a Big Fish by Jan Presley

Why go to heaven yet by Margo Davis

Roll Over Beethoven by Jonathan Pacic

limnophila aromatica by Susan Soriano

Bantams by Heather Bourbeau

Salt by Carolyn Wells

It Won't Taste the Same by Michelle Morouse

The Fallacy of Comparisons by Paul Lieber

Ode to End of Summer by Wally Swist

408 Dates with Maureen by Gail Bellamy

Taste Testing by Sarah Fawn Montgomery

A Meditation on Working as a Produce Clerk by Ross Stager

Le Fouquet by Elisa Albo

Two Poems by Sarah Paley

Transubstantiation by Susan O'Dell Underwood

Two Poems by Sharon Abra Hanen

Strawberries by Vincent Peloso

Chin Chin by Jessica M. Brophy

Nonpareil by Lois Rosen

Creating Foodie Monsters by Elisa Albo

Foods I Love by Meredith Drake

Three Poems by Terence Winch

Soufflé by Piscilla Atkins

Three Poems by Gail Peck

Under the Kitchen Floor by Bruce Cohen

Spring Peas Come to the Stores by Hannah Fischer

Two Poems by Grace Bauer

Kettle by Susan Kelly-DeWitt

Going to Get Swedish by Carol Berg

Potluck on Sulphur Creek by Brenda Butka

My Mother's Handwriting by Julia Wendell

Radish by Lauren Henley

The Way of the Buddha by Nadia Ibrashi

Famine Bread by Karen Holmberg

Leer Comida by Andrés Catalán

Cooking Show by Gary Mesick

Museum of Butter by Carol Jenkins

Two Poems by Crystal Simone Smith

Yardbird Suite by John Dufresne

At Grandmother's Table circa 1948

by Wilda Morris

Beginning with a line by Lȇ Thi Diem Thúy

November 2015    


I eat my culture,
the German culture of my great-grandmother
who taught Grandmother to stew tough cuts
of beef till flesh fell from the bone,
taught her to add potatoes, onions,
and carrots to the steaming pot, how
with a little flour stirred into milk,
the broth morphs into rich brown gravy.
I smell chicken simmering on the stove,
watch Grandmother drop dumplings in,
or the homemade noodles she hung
over the back of a chair to dry. I taste
sauerkraut, savor potatoes boiled and buttered,
pan-fried, chopped for soup or salad.
Scents of caraway cookies and Pfeffernusse
seep in from the kitchen.

I eat the culture of Grandfather, too,
mostly English. For him, Grandmother
bakes loaves of white bread
with no recipe but the one in her head,
perfects the art of baking pie. Asked
his favorite kind, Grandfather says, “Hot pie,
cold pie, and more pie,” so she bakes
apple, mincemeat, tart cherry, rhubarb.

At Grandmother’s table I also eat
the culture of Kansas prairie pioneers:
corn bread, corn on the cob, boiled turnips,
home-canned fruits and vegetables,
wild rabbit; and the depression culture
of baked beans and more baked beans.
I eat the middle-class American culture
of Better Homes and Gardens
where Grandmother found the recipe
for Glorified Rice, which she decorates
with marshmallow flowers
for church dinners and holidays.


At every meal Grandfather sits
at the head of the table,
Grandmother at the foot.
I slip into my seat next
to Dorinda, remember to mind
my manners. Grandfather repeats
the same short prayer each meal
before dishes are passed, forks lifted.

Uncle Norman asks for a cup
of dishwater, and we know
he wants coffee, hot and strong,
from the pot in the kitchen.
Sis and I compete for the task
of filling his cup. One day
we conspire, leave dirty dishwater
from breakfast, giggle together
and bring him a cup of gray,
scummy liquid. Grandmother is irate;
we have broken the law of hospitality.
Grandfather says nothing. Uncle Norman
winks and pretends to drink.


  Wilda Morris, Workshop Chair of Poets & Patrons of Chicago, leads workshops for children and adults. Her book, Szechwan Shrimp and Fortune Cookies: Poems from a Chinese Restaurant, was published by RWG Press. Her work appears in such publications as BorderSenses, Alive Now, Turtle Island Quarterly, and Journal of Modern Poetry. Her blog at provides poetry contests for others.