eating homemade chicken noodle soup
with a buttered hard roll.
I take a bite, the butter oozing out the sides
dripping in the steamy broth.
I watch as the butter melts, forming an oil slick
on the surface, interrupting the steam.
Dipping the roll into the soup
I think of my mother
and how she loved buttered rolls
fresh from the bakery – no prepackaged day old bits for her!
She especially like this, a hot soup
that she could dunk the roll, just enough
to moisten but not soak
leaning carefully over the bowl to catch the drips.
She would reminisce of her trips
to New York to eat lunch with her brother
who worked in mid-town.
“Oh, the sandwiches!” she exclaimed as
she dabbed her ruby colored lips with the cloth napkin.
“Sliced so thin you could see right through
the corned beef, then piled so high it was had to take a bite!”
Sitting back in her chair she would place the napkin back in her lap and sigh,
“What great times,” her voice trailing off as she looked out the window.
I miss her most of all in moments like this.
I want to tell her that Carnegie’s has closed
That her brother, eight years younger, fell. Again.
They have put him in a skilled nursing facility
far from his home, far from his mid-town, far from his wife’s grave
that he would visit every Sunday after her death, just to talk.
He sits, looking out the window waiting for his next meal.
Sometimes when I am in the kitchen cooking, I hear my mother’s laugh
If I turn slowly, I see a faint wisp move.
Was it just steam rising, then drifting off, or ?
I stare out the window, then at the empty chair.
I take another spoonful of soup and whisper to no one,
“I miss you, mom. They were great times, indeed”.