Elaine Reardon, Featured, Poetry

Easter Cherog

by Elaine Reardon

Sleep and stillness cling to my eyes.
Morning light trickles through pine branches
into the kitchen where yeast has raised
soft pillows of cherog dough overnight.
I slide the fragrance of warm yeast
into the waiting oven.

I kept the fire going last night
to coddle the dough,
to be kind to myself.
Now I sit at the window as early fog lifts
in wisps and sip tea.

The world here is quiet, aside from
the faucet dripping and the ping of
the oven as it heats.
Strong tea mingles with the aroma of
rising dough.
Do we not all rise with some redemption,
new each morning?

In other homes people are moving toward family gatherings
or waking to a jumble of legs and arms in unfamiliar beds
while I sit with my ancestors baking this bread.

I receive the old ones and the fragrance and the taste.
I listen to the small kitchen sounds against the quiet outside—
the complete stillness of each branch and leaf,
the warm cup in my hand.

Elaine Reardon, Featured, Poetry

Winter Sounds

by Elaine Reardon

We’ve gotten used to sounds
deep in a winter night,
a sharp ping of the wood stove
reaching some cooler temperature,
muffled tumbles of a smoldering log,
the creak of floorboards
as if someone walked quietly.
Downstairs the refrigerator
hums, the water heater readjusts.
What is shifting inside this house
I wonder, content, then roll into sleep.
Wind buffets the metal roof, snow
falls off in a grand whoosh, louder
than any wild animal out there.

Elaine Reardon, Featured, Poetry

Nan

by Elaine Reardon

In Cambridge it’s snowing softly, and Nan
sets the table for Sunday supper. She reaches
into the fridge for butter, cold slices of ham,

a jar of pigs feet. We crowd chairs around the
table. I sit on Mum’s lap with a slice of bread,
butter, ham. Not food I’m used to. Mum and I

are quiet. I wonder who was here earlier for dinner,
why we only come for leftovers, late in the day.
My older Irish cousins show me how to play games

I don’t know yet, and Nan hands me a rectangular tin
with two handles. She says for you, a lunchbox.
I wonder at it. It’s very small, and I have a Roy Roger’s

lunch box at home. She doesn’t know what I have there,
where I live with my Armenian grandmother, where
we speak another language, where dad whispers to me

in Irish, sings lullabies and tells me stories at bedtime.
I’m not used to having extra anything, and I’m doubtful
of this gift. She offers you can use it to pick blueberries.

When summer comes we pile into our car, pick up Nan,
my cousins, and Aunt Maureen to pick berries in Stoughton.
We walk along the dead end road, run in Paul’s sheep field,

slip past the fence to Glen Echo Lake. We have purple lips
and tongues. This is a day of heaven, swimming, and comfort.
Wild blueberries plonk on the bottom of my special tin.

 

This poem appears in Elaine’s chapbook, Look Behind You, published by Flutter Press, fall 2019

Contributors, Elaine Reardon

Elaine Reardon

Elaine Reardon is a poet and herbalist. Her first chapbook, The Heart is a Nursery For Hope, won first honors from Flutter Press in 2016. Her second chapbook, Look Behind You, 2019, is about her family’s journey from immigration to assimilation.  Most recently Elaine’s writing was published by Pensive Journal, Naugatuck Journal, and several anthologies. Visit her website at www.elainereardon.wordpress.com.

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