She Quit Cooking From Scratch

The curve of her hidden
by a cotton house

dress from the Sears catalog. She fried
hot water cornbread in lard.  It popped

like little foot bones. Wrap the crisp
bread in a paper towel. Tear apart

& share. The heat of her.  No air
conditioning, only one plug-in fan. Big kettle

of turnip greens boiling in ham
slabs. Some things you always

remember, the comforting grease
of greens sweet as cake. With her hot

long Avon nails she picked the meat
from pecans for putting in brown

sugared pies – our favorite was dark
chocolate bourbon.  I remember

grits thickening in the saucepan, pools
of butter melting on top, bubbling

yellow waterfalls. I remember the deep
loneliness when she quit cooking from

scratch & when the heat of her
vanished into frozen

meals, microwave ease & snappy
trips to drive-thru.