Friday, June 17, 2011

RHUBARB: An Original Memoir Poem

I know I haven’t been blogging much lately. Lots of things on my mind…lots on my list of things to do. Among other things, I’ve been making plans for the future…for when I become a grandmother. I’ve volunteered to provide daycare for my first grandchild three days a week when my daughter returns to work after her maternity is over. It’s been a long time since I cared for a wee one. I hope I have the stamina!

When I think of being a grandmother, I’m reminded of my maternal grandmother. As I wrote in my Poetry Friday post last week, I loved spending summer days at the home of my maternal grandparents. My Babci loved her six granddaughters—and she loved feeding her family. To her—food was love. I admit that I am much like my Babci in that way. I enjoy cooking and baking for both family and friends.
Here’s another of my memoir poems. It's about my Babci, rhubarb, and spending time with two of my cousins on a summer day:

by Elaine Magliaro

Rhubarb grows in a small patch
in a far corner of the yard
behind the brick fireplace.
When it is ready for picking,
Babci cuts the stalks and puts them in a basket.
In the kitchen, she snips off the large leaves,
trims the ends, and washes them.
We sit on the screened porch
dipping the tangy red rhubarb in sugar
and munching it till our jaws grow tired.
Babci chops the rest of the stalks
and cooks up a big pot of rhubarb sauce,
sweet and sour, thick as jam,
perfect for spooning over
Babci’s homemade bread
for a delicious summertime dessert.


Jone has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Check it Out.


Doraine said...

A lovely memory, Elaine. I've never eaten rhubarb, but I remember snow ice cream with my maternal grandmother and pulling taffy with the other one. Grandmothers leave indelible marks on our hearts. Enjoy your new little one.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I've never tasted snow ice cream or pulled taffy. My Babci was really nimble of hand. I still have the afghans she crocheted for me decades ago.

Tabatha said...

Very evocative poem, Elaine! Makes me want to get my hands on some rhubarb (and I'm not even that fond of rhubarb!). My grandmother was the same way -- I remember her peeling tomatoes to slice. The tomatoes would have been fine with the skin on, but she thought they tasted like the cook loved you a little more with the skin off.

david elzey said...

to this day i've never tried rhubarb and it seems such a memory pull those who have. at this point i wonder if it's been too long, if it's better to bathe in other's wonderful memories, like yours, rather than risk possible disappointment.

Cindy in Wisconsin said...

I like your poem! My grandmother had a rhubarb patch behind her garage and I loved crunching on a freshly pulled sour stalk, sometimes with sugar to dip it in. I have my own huge patch now and my grandchildren will ask to have a stalk when they're here. I love the big leaves for "hats."

Having grown up with rhubarb made into sauce or baked into pies or crunches or cobblers or made into jam with strawberries, I can tell you that it's great. I like rhubarb cake, a very nice moist cake. Ice cream with hot rhubarb crunch--yummm! Rhubarb desserts are a staple of the spring table here in rural central Wisconsin.

I'm sure you'll be a wonderful grandmother. It sounds like you had good role models.

Charles Waters said...

How do you not have your own book of poems yet? I LOVE YOUR WRITING!

Julie said...

Oh, Elaine, I think we have lived parallel lives. I loved eating rhubarb from my grandmother's yard - she had it growing just outside the fence that surrounded the raspberry patch. And I, too, took care of my new grandson for my daughter when she returned to work. Four months worth, Monday-Friday - don't worry, you can do it! Lovely poem, thanks for posting it.