in my childhood home was a service porch
a cupboard there held my mother’s cleaning supplies
on the inside of the cupboard door was a hook
that held some of the sweetest memories of my life

there hung a simple cotton apron
adorned with delicate violets
white rick rack rimmed the edges of the big pockets
and surrounded the ample bib

this apron saw duty through all seasons and celebrations
of the year for many years
but it was the little everyday things
that forever remain in my mind

those pockets held the clothes pins
for hanging the family clothes
fresh flowers from her garden were carefully
picked and gathered into her folded apron

lemons and avocados found their way into the apron
as well as many fruits and vegetables
twice daily in good weather
peanuts and stale bread crumbs would be lovingly strewn
to her eager bevy of birds

as grandchildren came along those pockets were filled
with a variety of homemade cookies
the only time the apron was empty was when it was in the wash

as the years went by and mom slowed down,
the apron hung on the hook more often than not
but the memories clung to every inch of fabric

I took the apron from the hook after she died
the first thing I did was check the pockets
there I found the meaning of her life

an S&H green stamp for her frugality
a peanut for her sweet generosity
and a flowered handkerchief for wiping
tears of joy and sadness
as she touched our lives with hers


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