Applesauce on a Sunday Morning

It’s Sunday morning, and I’ve decided to read a poem to my kids while we eat our cinnamon rolls at the dining room table. I pick up Delights & Shadows by Ted Kooser and open to the table of contents. I ask the kids whether I should read “A Winter Morning,” “Screech Owl,” or “Applesauce”. When a grin breaks on my son’s face, I read the latter:

Applesauce

I liked how the starry blue lid
of that saucepan lifted and puffed,
then settled back on a thin
hotpad of steam, and the way
her kitchen filled with the warm
wet breath of apples, as if all
the apples were talking at once,
as if they’d come cold and sour
from chores in the orchard,
and were trying to shoulder in
close to the fire. She was too busy
to put in her two cent’s worth
talking to apples. Squeezing
her dentures with wrinkly lips,
she had to jingle and stack
the bright brass coins of the lids
and thoughtfully count out
the red rubber rings, then hold
each jar, to see if it was clean,
to a window that looked out
through her back yard into Iowa.
And with every third or fourth jar
she wiped steam from her glasses,
using the hem of her apron,
printed with tiny red sailboats
that dipped along with leaf-green
banners snapping, under puffs
of pale applesauce clouds
scented with cinnamon and cloves,
the only boats under sail
for at least two thousand miles
~ Ted Kooser

I am transported to my grandmother Odette’s kitchen. I smell boiling apples and cinnamon. I see steam lifting from her silver cooking pots. I feel the hardness of her white countertops beneath my tapping finger tips. I am sitting on her red stool watching, waiting for her to spoon applesauce into a white porcelain bowl.

And then – I am sitting at the dining room table with my children, smiling, and I say, “Grandma Odette used to make applesauce. It was delicious.” As I take their empty plates to the sink, I promise myself to find the recipe and make it for them.

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One thought on “Applesauce on a Sunday Morning

  1. Kate

    This post I love. It is real. It is you. It has a voice. Stick to this kind of shit. I do not care about what others are telling or teaching you. I care about who you are and your true thoughts. Very very cool.

    Reply

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