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June Pelo
18-09-06, 01:39
This wooden spoon is old,
Its handle smooth, the bowl stained dark
With one edge flattened
By repeated use.

For years it stirred in love
Along with butter, sugar, eggs,
To make the weekly Mama's Brod
And other Swedish foods.

Two children and, of course,
Peanut butter cookies
Were added to the list.
In retrospect, who knows,
Perhaps there were occasions
Where, along with adding love,
Annoyance and frustration
Were worked out with elbow grease
Before electric mixers came of age.
(The spoon may have been used
To spank. I can't recall
'tho mother certainly believed
One shouldn't spare the rod.)

The passing years dictate
A life-style simplified:
The house was sold.
A lifetime's goods and chattels
Were sorted to accommodate
A move to smaller rooms.
And on the pile we designate
"Deliver to the dump."
I note the wooden spoonn
And I, who have become
A collector of collectibles,
Rescue it and add it to my pile.

This spoon is not an ornament.
I use it and no doubt
Each time I do I mix
A few more slivers from the spoon
Along with love. One further legacy
As my mother did
My palm edge prints a cross
In the yeasty dough.
"As Christ rose from the dead
So then, my bread will rise."

From the eulogy for Elmi Johnson, 2006, by her daughter Ruby Bernard.

The Leading Star, Sep. 2006

June