eyes down
she crimps the crust
with soft, flour-dusted fingers
to retain the juice
from the litany of fruit
heirloom peaches, blanched of fuzz
Santa Rosa plums
tossed with sugar
and cardamom
the crimping done,
she gently places the plate
on the center rack
of her oven
and begins the process anew
I sit on a stool at the island
watching this lovely woman
this pie-ritual
this pre-mother
priestess of pie
and the heat within me
so that all of the parts inside
the part that wants to hold her
the part that wants to talk with her
the part that wants to kiss her
the part that wants to love her
the part that fears that love
and those other parts
begin to soften, to mush
to clarify, to blend
yet stay distinct
it's as if she took her knife
and fashioned a grin on my face
it's baked on now and won't be removed
and the sprinkling of sugar glints
on my browning skin that
holds in the juice of me
she looks up and smiles
feels a bit too-looked-at
must see the steam wisping from my vents
gauges the doneness of me
and decides I need more time
another 20 minutes
and then she'll take me out.



© 2002 Homer Christensen