The latest issue of Adanna Journal, centered on the theme of Women and Food, has just been released. I am honored that my poem, “Upon Hearing in November of the Arrival” is included in this prestigious journal. The poem celebrates the announcement that my daughter, Sarah, and her husband, Steve, are expecting. It takes place on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving 2012, when Sarah, her sister, Elizabeth, and I bake pies for the holiday. The poem’s format is different in the printed copy; every other line is indented a tab space.
Here’s the poem:
Upon Hearing in November of the Arrival
Upon news of my grandson’s upcoming
arrival, our Japanese maples
clap in raucous approval, throw the last
of their crimson leaves upon
late-fall grass. We all clap too,
and I hug you, my daughter.
We forget about Thanksgiving pies,
until your husband reminds
us of the one in the oven.
Ochre scent of hot pumpkin
fills the steamy kitchen; your blue
eyes focus on distances out
the window opened by leafless trees.
We speak of cribs and colic,
of flour and its refusal to be rolled
into a perfect circle,
of apples and grandmother Nellie’s
talent of peeling them
in a continuous red and white loop.
I marvel at this layered,
complex being, want to touch the place
of it. But I’m suddenly shy,
not wanting to intrude on your
veiled smile, new knowledge
of woman’s power. Later, Chinese food
cartons unfold like origami
on the oak table. Your chopsticks grasp
sushi’s compact, bright center,
pluck beef, broccoli, and snow
peas out of one package, water
chestnut crunch out of the other.
You eat your way back
to childhood: always Chinese before
Turkey Day. Camera flash
records you, your sister, and me behind
the glass and chrome table
that holds eight pies for cooling.
Your long hands smooth
your white sweater over what is to come
in full-throated July.
© Marie Kane
Published in Adanna Journal, April 2014, Women and Food Issue. Editors: Diane Lockwood, Lynne McEniry ISBN 978-0-9836463-7-2