When I cook for family, I feel my mothers with me.
Every day, the kitchen is where they would be.
My mother was the oven and pressure cooker queen,
So her long absences from home wouldn't cause a scene.
Her mother used a meat grinder as a food processor;
She could sit and do this without foot and back pressure.
My daddy's mom was the neatest cook I've ever seen;
As soon as she'd spill something, she'd immediately clean.
They thought I didn't heed anything they had to say,
But I watched them as closely as a hawk watches its prey.
They didn't like my questions about what I didn't understand,
Like why rules were different for woman than for man.
I saw how with food and fun they got their points across;
For why they allowed their men to slide, I was at a loss.
Now I use some of their subtle ways of reward
To soften the minds and hearts that are hard.
I pray daily that the values that I express
Help those I love to become more, not less--
More of what they are put on earth to be,
Realizing that no one is ever completely free.
But we must appreciate every contribution
That leads to the final meal's execution.
The ancients respected the grower and the grown
Realizing that none of creation stands alone.