Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page.
By Sandra de Helen
On Route 66, Dead Man’s Curve
our house with an outhouse on seven acres
with no running water,
no candy store in sight.
We ate the eggs our chickens lay,
beans, potatoes, and greens
Mom picked in the woods.
No sweets except on holidays.
Grandma baked pies,
Aunt Mame made candy:
Chocolate fudge, peanut butter bars,
and her heavenly divinity.
Billowy clouds of white sugar,
studded with walnuts Mame herself
picked out with her prized nutcracker set.
Black walnuts the family gathered together
to gather from alongside gravel roads
of the nearby countryside.
Once each year every small family
within our larger family
were gifted a decorated box
of Aunt Mame’s treasured sweets.
We rationed them, made them last
by savoring each bite with the mindfulness
we’ve long since forgotten.
Only my sister and I are left to recall
our Aunt Mame and her gifts.
No one thought to ask for her recipe,
and no family member makes divinity.
Sandra de Helen lives and writes in Portland, Oregon. She is author of the Shirley Combs/Dr. Mary Watson mystery series, set in Portland; Till Darkness Comes, a thriller set in Kansas City, Missouri; and four collections of lesbian poetry published by Launch Point Press.
Sandra is a member of the Golden Crown Literary Society, Dramatists Guild, Honor Roll! and International Centre for Women Playwrights.
Follow her on Twitter @dehelen
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