Sunday, April 22, 2012

Remembering Sunday Mornings with Grandmother

Sundays always make me think of my grandmother. We would go to church with her and then later have dinner with the family at her house. Every Sunday was almost like Thanksgiving – there was always so much food – good, home-cooked food.

We lost grandmother in 2007, but I have her Bible. She recorded births and deaths as well as marriages. By those of use who divorced later, she put a small letter d by the names. On the first page of Genesis, where it starts with “In the beginning...,”  she has written “I believe.” It gives me great comfort to go through her Bible and notice the passages she marked and the notes she made. And she did all this back when it was considered sacriligious to make marks in the Bible.

I took a poetry writing class a few months ago and in memory of my grandmother on this Sunday morning, here it is:

Sunday Morning with Grandmother

Sunday morning before church,
her lips freshly painted pink,
pearls adorn her neck,
her hair is perfectly coifed.
But she wears only her slip,
so as not to mess her dress.

With self-manicured fingers,
nails the same shade as her lips,
she sifts the flour, the handle
squeaks with every turn.
A small mountain of powder
rises in the aluminum bowl,
battered from years of daily use.
She adds a small scoop of Crisco,
kneading the mealy mixture
with her left hand
while adding buttermilk
with the other, molding
it to a ball of dough.

She plops it on wax paper,
rolling it flat, lightly
sprinkling flour across it. She
takes the biscuit cutter
twisting it in the dough
forming perfect circles,
placed side by side, edges
barely touching.

As they bake,
she slips on her dress,
the green one
with the paisley print,
then slides into her best
sensible shoes.
She glimpses her reflection,
coats her lips again
and pats a strand of hair
back into place.

She takes the biscuits
from the oven, placing one
on a plate with a little butter
and apple jelly, my favorite.
She places it before me,
an unexpected treat
I delight in.

She hums
How Great Thou Art,
while preparing the dinner
our family will enjoy later.

As we walk into
Beaumont Baptist Church,
the organ howls as she places
two shiny quarters in my hand
for the collection plate.

I wish I had the courage
to keep them for myself
as my little brother
so often does.

©connie thompson kuhn

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