Kathrine1 Comment

Warm copper-colored ode

Kathrine1 Comment

Carmella. caramel Carmella. The lovely mixer that mixes. She’s just a thing, I realize this, yet she makes all baking projects that much more wonderful. The way she combines butter and sugar into smooth creaminess. The whippings she gives to the eggs, making peaks of just the right magnitude every time.

Carmella owns a small nook in Sweetcake’s kitchen, right between the oven and the fridge. Above her swings her basic attachments. Above that, the best and most-loved of our cookbooks. 

In the cupboard below her, accoutrements of all sorts, gadgets that bring out even more possibilities, even more skill. She can be meat grinder, pasta maker, slicer, and a couple of other things I can’t remember. She’s a transformer. The truth is, I don’t use most of those attachments. But I want to. There’s the possibility of many great meals built under her steady churn.

Her coppery hue: the Southern Utah desert – the place in the world where I am completely free.

And, today, this already mid-August day, almost near the end of summer, with the aprciots flinging themselves off of the tree, and in the dirt that followed us home from Moab, there's copper all around me, even out west in that copper mine, and  I’m happy this poem is in the world.

Warm Flesh-Colored Ode
by Donald Justice

It was still possible then
To imagine that no more than one or two hands
Would ever move down the face of the hour,
And that the shadow which followed
Might remain patient
And, if anything, somewhat reluctant to continue;
That no more than one or two hands
Had ever descended so far
As the shoulders of the afternoon,
And that, necessarily, they would have been bare then
Of even that shadow which sometimes, the air itself seems to be charged with
And to suffer from;
That no more than one or two hands surely
Would have crossed the forbidden zone
At the end of summer,
And that the sky there would be turning always from white to pink, slowly,
And that it could no longer matter then
What shadows rose from you hollows and sank back.

And it is still possible to imagine
That there are one or two hands
Which do not know, or do not yet know,
Anything of either that face or the shadow
Which does, after all, follow,
Or of flushed shoulders or turning sky,
Or of those particular hollows, alive
With less and less curious and impulsive shadows now;
And that there may somewhere be hands
Which will never be smeared with the very special pollen
And general muskiness of a dying summer;
And that there are probably other hands which have stopped,
Or will stop, or even now are shaken with premonitions
Of a time when they will have begun to stop,
And among these some which remember little or nothing
Of you and your coloring,
And some also which do not and cannot forget
Your blood upon them and your dew.