The knobs removed from the faceplate,
the plug taken out of the wall.
No more the yeasty château
of dough and cinnamon
the daughter called hotel soap cake,
no more the son’s gravy,
fried chicken, and greens.
And although she followed to a T
the teachings of Benjamin Spock
she swore, “I will not be a human dairy,”
so never a memory of nursing.

Coffee she served them as children.
Sometimes dump salad,
jerry-rigged from whatever
was freshly picked
and lying around the house.
More often cornbread and milk,
the milk in spring after the cows got out.
The onion she made them lick,
before they drank,
to mask the taste of bitterweed.

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