December 2013

Saddle Soap

Granny & Paw drank Schlitz beer.
Me & Lynsie had the job to rotate.
One from the freezer to the table,
one from the fridge to the freezer.
Granny played solitaire in the kitchen,
Paw always worked on the railroad.

A pot of beans & a pan of corn bread
was always warming on the stove.
Paw would mostly do the cooking &
Granny would wash up after supper.
Me & Lynsie took turns drying dishes
with a flour sac trimmed in crochet.

They were members of Herman Sons,
which meant summer camp in Comfort.
Lynsie only went once and she cried
the whole week in the nurse’s office.
5 summers wasn’t long enough for me
to learn what I would need to know.

The kitchen table would get cleared
for special occasions and company.
The rest of the time it was full of junk:
ashtrays, jug of wine, jar of peppers,
stack of bills, worn cards and a nut bowl.
Lynsie would call this a bunch of crap.

I cook a turkey for Thanksgiving Day,
but go back to work the day after.
Lynsie places her order for Christmas,
tamales & Mexican cookies, con sprinkles.
She brings her family down from Austin,
but they can’t stay long.

Granny & Paw have things in the curio:
pocket knife, car key, saddle soap can,
hair comb, lace doily, and a brass lamb.
I’ll make Spanish rice for the tamales,
and Mexican Martinis for me, with salt.
We don’t dry the dishes at my house.

—Emilee Scialpi

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