(Twenty-four crusts to be frozen)
Rise when sky’s amber. As coffee pot fusses, sift
dry ingredients, butter the size of an egg. Measure
out the needed doses. Have a passing thought about
those years you weren’t allowed in this farmhouse
kitchen without permission, how your new mother-
in-law clucked each time flour clouded to the floor,
an accident. That was six decades ago. With first cup
of coffee, toss a nimbus of the white stuff over both
shoulders; show her who’s boss. Use hands for blending,
covering, fluting the shiny tins with dough—Like skin,
you think each time you do it. Reinvent your body: so
much promise, hundreds of new perfect fingerprints.
Don’t need an extra rib, just butter-flavored Crisco.
Surgeries, babies; anniversaries, all those prodigal
children. People need pies. You need them too, their
soft empty faces, pastry crusts waiting for some soul
to proclaim, “It is good. It is good. Best I ever had.”
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.