36 CORN ROAD
PART 2 – AUNT IMOGENE
She was never just sitting there, waiting for us
She knew we were coming
But that couldn’t keep her from
The work at hand
Chores to her, but her legacy to others
Who would be the first to find her?
Sweet Aunt Imogene, earth mother
Would she be working in the garden
Tending to her rooted accomplishments
Her labor of love that would nourish us time and again
Would she be in the hen house?
Gathering eggs in her work worn apron
Or taking the “last walk” with one she had nurtured
Who would now take its place at the dinner table
Or more correctly put, “on” the dinner table
By the pleasant twitch of my nostrils
I would gather she was in her kitchen
A place so small and dark with coal dusted floors
Yet a place that brought about warmth and love
The vibrant colors of her beautiful harvest
Made even the oldest of porcelain dishes
Come to life like a finely crafted painting
But one for our consumption, not just for viewing
DID I MENTION HER APPLEBUTTER?
When she felt we had our fill
And the empty vessels cleaned and put back in their place
Behind the curtained cupboards,
She would take us out for an adventure
What would it be this time?
Would we canvass the hills for the perfect
Leaves and nuts, or butterflies for our school projects
Or would we go digging for old bottles
Blue ones, green ones, clear ones, ones with labels or corks
What had been in them, who left them behind for us to find?
Or would we be so lucky to have her share
Her button collection
Tin after tin, dumped out on the creaky feather bed
She knew where she found that black one or the one
That looked like it came from a movie star’s dress.
Always a story, now a great memory.
It was time to go
But we never left empty handed.
A trip to the root cellar, though scary
With the possibility of interrupting a snake’s nap,
Always ended with a basket of jarred goodness
The best of her…..home with us
Until we needed, more correctly, wanted, to come back for more.
More food, more adventures, more Aunt Imogene.
I miss her!