For The Shade Gap Ladies Auxiliary by Steven Knepper

For The Shade Gap Ladies Auxiliary

The masters share their favorite recipes,
The measurements and times transcribed with care.
Their friends approximate the taste with ease
But don’t achieve the dish that won the fair.

Particularity of stove and pan
Can introduce a teaspoon’s worth of risk,
More so the eyes and nose with which they’re scanned,
The hand and wrist that briskly move the whisk.

The body’s knowledge won’t abstract to words,
At least not fully, lettered out and read.
Experience itself must be procured,
A taste, a touch, a smell that won’t be said.

It takes sensation shared at tabletops,
A long apprenticeship on tired legs,
Pouring together over bowls and pots,
To pass on lessons shelled like speckled eggs.

by Steven Knepper

Editor’s Note: No matter how many times I try, or how carefully I follow the recipe, my meatballs do not taste like my mother’s meatballs. Nor do they taste like my grandmother’s meatballs, but then, neither did my mother’s. Some things cannot be copied, only remembered fondly.