Every year Bella’s mother baked
for their church’s bake sale
two cookbooks opened to grease-stained pages

Flour everywhere, electric mixer, mixing bowls,
rolling pins, measuring cups, spoons
baking racks, sheets

divine smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
all through the house,
deep dish apple and sweet potato pies
baked in the oven then onto the racks to cool

Delicious, mouth watering coconut, chocolate cakes
apricot, raspberry jam thumbprint cookies
Bella’s kindergarten thumbprint in the center

Bella’s mother even made
peanut brittle
a candy thermometer, sugar, butter, vanilla
peanuts, walnuts
bubbling up violently
lots of stirring then onto the cookie sheet

She would say “hurry up, hurry up”
and Bella spread the gooey mix with a spatula
the house was filled with nutty, vanilla,
buttery goodness

Next morning at the annual ‘Communiversity Day’
sunny, hot, packed with vendors, live music
people walking
every store on Nassau Street
had a table out front showing their wares

Bella, her mother and the ladies from the church
sat behind a long table swatting away yellow jackets
and calling “Homemade baked goods here. All homemade.”

McGowan lives in Princeton Junction. She has had her poetry selected by VSA New Jersey to be read at Crossroads Theater. She attends Delaware Valley Inc., Twin Rivers Writers Group, and Anna Evans Poetry Workshop. She is a member and participant in GSSL activities.

Facebook Comments