Thursday, October 03, 2013

October Memoir and Backstory Challenge - #2 childhood continued...



Green Thumb


Every Sunday morning
there is a white ceramic bowl in the sink with
beef shanks soaking in water
until the meat is grey
and the water
pinky-rust.

My grandmother drains the meat
pushing it from the smooth bowl down into the cold water
of her tall aluminum soup pot on the stove,
burner set on low.
She adds peeled whole potatoes, and carrots,
and round yellow onions with their skins,
for their golden colour,
leafy celery stalks are bundled with string
so they won't get loose.

My grandmother stands over the pot
steam rising, wooden spoon stirring,
small sieve on the counter to skim off the scum.
Her face moves through shades of pale to bright pink,
as she stirs,
judges,
and
sips
from a small glass filled with Dominion store ginger ale
and Hungarian pear brandy.
I know she is done when she places the lid on the pot,
a small crack left open for steam to escape.

She can turn her back on the soup
for now.

Moving back to the sink
she lifts the ceramic bowl
the one with the watery blood,
carrying it through the living room,
right over the Persian wool carpet
and around the pale blue velour wing-back chairs,
out the front door and down the stairs outside,
right hand on the railing,
bowl balanced on her left hip.

At the bottom of the stairs
she opens the chain link gate,
walks over to her robust purple delphiniums,
and empties the bloody water at their root.

The neighbours marvel at her green thumb.

6 comments:

Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) said...

Cool! I love the title because it kept me reading right through -- where is the part when this is going to be about plants? And I loved the moment when it was.

Deb Stone said...

Nice imagery. I could almost smell the soup. The ending was a lovely surprise.

Jane Ann McLachlan said...

Love this! I could just see it all happening, and what a great ending!

redcatdance said...

Thanks Joy,Deb and Jane Ann for your comments. G;ad the ending surprised you!

Satia said...

The imagery in this is so powerful and that last line, with the bloody truth already delineated, is brilliant.

Amanda M. Darling said...

Some of my happiest moments are spent in the kitchen standing over the soup pot. You described the scene with great visuals.