Momma's Pot Roast
by Barbara Randals Gregg

When I go home, I realize nothing
has been cooked in Momma's kitchen
since she became a child again,
but I can still smell her pot roast.
That aroma curls around me like
a soft terry cloth robe when
I washed my hair in winter.
Parts of me were cold and scrunched up,
but where the robe touched the back
of my neck was always warm and safe.
That's what pot roast was like at my house --
the ultimate food, capable of removing stress,
grey hair, wrinkles, and bunions --
__well -- probably not bunions.

Momma'd begin her morning covering a
frozen roast with water in her big Magnalite pot,
simmer it for hours, then add quartered onions,
Idaho potatoes, carrots, salt and pepper --
a feast that lasted for days --
until the potatoes were all mashed up
and the carrots were gone.
Then any leftover juice was a start for the best
soup -- with fresh vegetables like corn and
peas and turnips --
__well -- maybe not turnips.

Cooking pot roast taught me how to live.
Start with my very best effort and
use it until every bit is gone.
Never waste anything. If nothing
else, I make soup with leftovers -- any leftovers.
Like pot roast, soup warms my throat,
makes me strong,
and charges my memory bank
with sighs and comfort,
enough to last a lifetime --
__well -- at least until my next childhood.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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