Poetry Friday: The Rolling Pin

October 8th, 2010

Happy Poetry Friday! We have another original poem from Shirley McPhillips this week! Enjoy and check out her poem from last week as well!  

The Rolling Pin
Shirl McPhillips

A wine bottle for crust
would do just as well
as a rolling pin I’m told,
but the clerk hoists it aloft

like an Olympic torch
and I sprint up the aisle
to claim it, to bring it home.
Tempted as I am to take

the devil’s easy path, my
Mama Divine, I must
not scare what is sacred.
Splinters of your holy light

slice through a mountain
of shadows. Not in my house
you would say. Not in your
house where the laws

of prohibition ranked right up
there next to the tablets of stone.
Not in your house, my Holy
Mama where, heaven bent,

you cut labels off cans of cocktail,
so hellbinding was the Word—where
groceries packed in a box blazed
with Miller High Life once sat rejected

out back, like the sinner who brought it.
And a wine bottle, my Keeper
of the Faith, will not shape a pie
in my house. Chilled, heavy

with butter, the dough is stiff
and unforgiving like the promise
I wish I hadn’t made to shape it. Yet
somehow it yields to the gentle

steering of my wooden wheel
and folds up in flutes over the late
summer peaches I remember.

When your soul flew up
to its final reward, sweet mama,
Guardian of the Everafter, we
sorted the magic of  your high

craft into boxes—five dollars
take all—ice picks, oyster
knives, spatulas, eggbeaters,
skillets of iron, a rolling pin.

I claim the teapot,
the crystal candlesticks,
green plates of depression glass—
I claim your recipes,

the pinch
the tad
the dash—
small bits of grace.

I claim the taste
but not the tools of it.

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