The Treasured Dish

Sometime ago, tucked inside a kitchen cupboard,
was an old glass Pyrex dish.
It sat among others of its kind, yet was quite different.

You see, it was my mother’s meatloaf dish.
As a child, I remember coming home from school
to the unmistakable aroma of meatloaf and baking potatoes.

That dish was used by me for more than forty years,
first preparing meatloaf for a new husband,
then for a growing family,

and finally back to the two of us.

Taking that dish from the cupboard, holding it in my hands,
shaping the loaf, baking and serving it
had always been a secret, spiritual connection between my mother and me.

Several years ago, on a rainy afternoon
while preparing meatloaf and reminiscing with mom,
the dish accidentally dropped from my greasy hands
crashing to the floor into so many pieces.

Speechless, and in tears, I sank to the kitchen floor.
Disbelief and shards of glass were all that remained of
our treasured dish.

Slowly and gently , the fragmented memories
were reverently placed into a paper bag.
The bag remained on the kitchen counter for nearly a week.
To have carelessly tossed it into the trash
would have been painful and irreverent.

Alas, recycle day came,
a goodbye was said, and the bag was placed in the bin.

My new meatloaf dish is nice, but it’s not my mother’s.
However, as a mother, hopefully someday
after I’m gone, my daughter or daughters-in-law
will happen upon my dish and continue making meals
filled with memories and love.

The Fragrance Within

Sorting through an old chest of drawers
my fingers fell upon a soft bundle
gently I lifted out a little mound
of old crinkled tissue paper thin with time.

Tears welled in my eyes
as my mind began to form the words
my mother’s dainty, flowered handkerchiefs.

The linen thin as the tissue itself
still held the faint color and outline of pansies
violets roses and irises.

Softly rubbing each against my cheek
they once again caught a tear

as they had many times in years gone by.

I raised the bundle to my nose

mom’s favorite fragrance the faint scent of violets
I could once again see them growing wildly
their smiling faces turned upward
gathering kisses from the sun.

A moment a scent a kiss.

—Ann Michener Winter


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