|The farm kitchen in 1992|
Cups and cups hang from hooks,
plates of every color and design in the cupboard,
enough for a field full of neighbors some hungry noon.
Rafters and ceiling a greasy black
even now that the big wood stove is gone,
flavored of pancakes and kuchen,
Sunday chickens and potato soup.
A ladle and a dishpan over the sink
where the cold, clear water gleams to the taste.
On the table, flour, salt and sugar flow,
foods that keep and stretch
and fill the belly to last all day.
Mice scurry across the floor
and hop up on the big table
to gawk at the evening game-players,
forgetting themselves momentarily
and then startling to the squeals.
Foot baths on the step, warm and sensual,
makes you feel clean all over!
In the morning, the aroma of coffee,
and a child’s dreamy inheritance
of the never-empty pot,
July 13, 1992
The old farmhouse, circa 1860, in the Catskills is just about gone now due to age and recent vandalism. But the memories and mysteries I learned there from the deeply shared culture of our immigrant family will remain with me forever. I give thanks for all I carry with me from this place. As with immigrants in all times and places, we knew that we must love and take care of each other in order to survive.
|Farm upstairs bedroom with Mom's old vanity|
|Detail of barn construction|
|Farm house wave|
|Brother and sister, Martha and my dad Rudolph|
|Enjoying a beer on the front lawn|